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Cleared for Final Approach?

Indonesia's Tourism Minister Challenges the People of Bali to 'Make Up Their Minds' on the Future of Bali's Airport.

(11/23/2007) Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has issued a challenge to the people of Bali come to a clear decision in the face of growing congestion and infrastructure limitations at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport. The Minister warned that the current indecision surrounding Bali's sole airport must end and the people must decide if the current airport will be expanded or a new airport is to be built in the Buleleng, Jembrana or Karangasem areas of Bali.

Distancing himself from the outcome of the current heated debate surrounding Bali's airport, Wacik told NusaBali, "We at the Department of Culture and Tourism only provide data on growth and demand. Later, the one who will decide (on the airport) is the Minister of Transportation. He will decide if the current airport will be expanded or if a new airport will be built."

Speaking to the press on November 13, 2007, Wacik said a thorough study must be undertaken to find the best solution. The Minister equated the current debate surrounding Bali's airport with national polemic over energy. The Minister warned: "If we want energy needs to be met, we have to be bold to take decisions; every choice has its own risks. If we want to stay in our current situation, that is also a choice."

The Minister said that within 20 years Bali's current airport would be outmoded. He also said that the current master plan for the airport omits any consideration for runway expansion before 2025, choosing instead to focus on apron and terminal improvements.

Meanwhile, community leaders from Jembrana in West Bali have been actively lobbying provincial and national transportation authorities to move ahead with plans to develop an entirely new airport in their sub-district.

Despite their efforts, Bali's Governor urged that the present airport be retained, prompting for calls to revamp the current Master Plan for the current Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Related Sites and Article

[Running out of Runway in Bali]

[New Airport Touted for Bali]

[The Bali Times]

[ Bali's Airport: Between a Wet and a Soft Place]

[Run, Run, Run, Run...Runway]