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HATTA: KARAWANG AIRPORT PROJECT NOT YET DISCUSSED: Soetta Airport’s Facilities Match Three-Star Hotel

By Tri Murti

JAKARTA - Terminal I and Terminal II facilities of Soekarno-Hatta (Soetta) Airport cannot be equated with five-star hotel facilities. The facilities in the airport’s Terminal I, managed by PT Angkasa Pura (AP) II, are still equal to those of a two-star hotel, while the facilities in Terminal II match those of a three-star hotel.

"AP II should have provided airport facilities that are far better than the company’s board room, because of the airport under its management bears an international title," Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), Dahlan Iskan, said in Jakarta on Tuesday (4 September).

However, the management of the airport sector BUMN is judged to be not needing any pushing to improve the facilities provided. "I think it is only proper for AP II to provide services with high quality standards, because they serve the passengers who can pay," he said.

Dahlan also suggested that the parking lot for airport employee vehicles should not have taken the parking space of passengers. On the other hand, the access road to Soekarno-Hatta Airport is considered to be smooth already, following the addition into three lanes, from the previously two lanes.

Dahlan also admitted that the services given by AP II during Lebaran [Eid al-Fitr] were good enough. However, he was reluctant to give an award to the airport sector BUMN led by Tri Sunoko. "I think it is different from the case with PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) and PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry, who have to serve passengers with subsidies," he said.

Meanwhile, Dahlan will give an award to KAI and ASDP, as the two companies had served passengers well during the 2012 Lebaran season. If their performances during Lebaran are given a score, PT ASDP has got a score of seven, up from five, previously, whereas PT KAI has scored an eight, from six previously.

"Although there are still weaknesses, the two companies have demonstrated service improvements. However, we will not be complacent and will continue to promote their services in order to achieve a score of nine,” he said.

Karawang Airport Project
On another occasion, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Hatta Rajasa, said that he has not discussed the plan to build a new airport in Karawang, West Java.

Meanwhile, the airport development in Karawang is aimed at reducing passenger loads in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

"It has not been discussed. I know there is controversy about the airport's development plan. But we have not come to a conclusion of the discussion yet,” said Hatta, in Jakarta, yesterday.

According to Hatta, the Provincial Government (Pemprov) of West Java (Jabar) has not made spatial layout plan for the construction of an airport in Karawang. This is because West Java Provincial Government is more focused on building Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, which is targeted to begin operating in 2016. "Spatial planning does not exist yet, because West Java Provincial Government has set Kertajati as the location of an international airport that also has a basis in logistics," he explained.

In fact, said Hatta, PT Angkasa Pura (AP) II, as a state-owned airport management company, is also more focused on developing Soekarno-Hatta Airport. To that end, AP II is still revamping and adding the runway in Indonesia's busiest airport, to allow it to accommodate up to 100 million passengers.

"Now, the number of passengers has not yet reached 60 million people, but I think it must be admitted that Cengkareng Airport expansion has limits. This is in view of its limited land availability, while residential and industrial areas keep expanding,” he explained

However, Hatta was still reluctant to say much about the Karawang airport development plan, since there is no clarity yet about the plan. "I cannot talk much about the Karawang airport before, in due course, I get information regarding the issue of its spatial planning," he said.

Hatta also revealed that the government is indeed planning to build 15 new airports, as the President stated in his official state of the nation address, but the airports will be mostly built outside Java.

The government is also likely to focus on improving marine transport infrastructure in eastern Indonesia in order to reduce the costs of logistics and transportation that have continued to be expensive. "Maritime connectivity is a priority. We are committed to lower logistics costs from 14 percent to 10 percent. The burden of logistics costs is identically occurring in eastern Indonesia,” he said. (c05)