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Bali Airport Renovation Rejected by Governor

Governor Demands More Public Space, Less Commercialization and a More Balinese Style to Planned Major Revamp of Bali Airport.

(5/2/2009) Kompas.com reports that Bali's governor, Made Mangku Pastika, has rejected renovation plans advanced by Bali's airport managers, calling instead for a more Balinese design concept with greater emphasis on public as opposed to commercial spaces.

With renovations scheduled to commence before the end of 2009, I.B. Parsa, a spokesperson for the Bali government, said the provincial government and the governor's office would not give its supporting recommendation if the proposed renovations are only used to expand commercial space. "It would be better if Angkasa Pura (the airport managers) repaired the messy public areas at the airport," said Parsa.

Bali's international airport is being designed to handle 11 million domestic and international passengers, an increase from its current estimated carrying capacity of 9 million. Parsa pointed to poor security at the airport, sluggish visa and immigration handling and passenger boarding problems while asking why the airport authority seemed more intent on creating a commercial mall than on improving overall systems and airport infrastructure.

In response, the General Manager of PT Angkasa Pura I at Bali's airport, Heru Legowo, confirmed the governor's objections, asking for several months to present a new set of renovation blueprints. At the same time, he said it would not be possible to meet the government's demand for more Balinese-styled architecture at the airport, promising only to endeavor to create a Balinese atmosphere to welcome arriving passengers.

Bali's airport occupies a tract of land measuring around 300 hectares. Of that area, 73,776 square meters is utilized for the passenger terminal and 1,200 square meters for parking lots.