The New LOMBOK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Fully Operational on 1st October, 2011
The brand new Lombok International Airport named Bandara Internasional Lombok (BIL) located in the West Nusa Tenggara Province, will be fully operational on 1st October 2011. Lombok is Bali’s immediate neighbor to its east.
The new Lombok International airport is located at Tanak Awu, in the Central Lombok District, 30Km or an hour’s drive South East of Mataram, capital of West Nusa Tenggara. With its opening, the currently operating Selaparang Airport is scheduled to close all flight services from September 30th 2011, at 18.00 Central Indonesia Time.
“Many people have questioned and doubted the opening, but I can assure you, and there is no doubt whatsoever, that the Lombok International Airport will start operations starting 1st October “said Ridwan Syah, Head of the Transportation, Communication, and Information Office of West Nusa Tenggara Province, at the meeting with related government institutions, Airlines, and Tourism Stakeholders in Mataram, on Thursday September 22nd 2011, as reported by Kompas.com.
The newly built BIL encompasses a total area of 551 hectares and has a 2,750m long runway to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts such as Airbus A 330 and certain types of Boeing 737 or Boeing 747. The Airport features a 21,000 m2 terminal area projected to handle three million passengers per year, and is completed with all necessary facilities such as taxi way, apron, VIP facilities, and information facilities.
To support the new airport, a new bus route has been established from Mataram and Senggigi to BIL. The special buses serving the route have a capacity of 40 passengers and its visual designs are also aimed to promote tourism inLombokand West Nusa Tenggara. The fare from/to Mataram’s Mandalika Bus Terminal is around IDR 15,000 to 20,000 and from/to Senggigi around IDR 20,000 to 25,000. Taxis will also be available to take passengers around the fabledislandofLombok.
BIL was initiated since the 90’s, during Warsito’s tenure as NTB Governor. It was started with the view that the presentSelaparangAirportwill in future be overloaded with passengers, considering thatLombokwas gradually growing into a significant tourism destination. Today, the currentSelaparangAirportis no longer adequate since it has a capacity to serve a maximum 850,000 passengers per year only while airplane passengers have already exceeded 1.2 million.
Currently, the Selaparang Airport serves domestic airlines including Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, BataviaAir, Wings Air, and Trigana. While internationally, SilkAir serves the Singapore to Lombok route. From October 1st, 2011, these airlines will surely land at the brand newLombokInternationalAirport. With the opening of the newLombokInternationalAirport, more domestic and international airlines are expected to includeLombok in their routes, and the splendors of this splendid island will become more easily accessible.
Source: Kompas.com, Vivanews.com, ntbprov.go.id