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Residents Resist Extension of North Bali Airport Runway

Plans to Extend Letkol Wisnu Airport Runway Frustrated by Refusal of North Bali Residents to Accept Land Compensation Package.

(6/13/2009) After an impasse lasting several months, citizens whose residences are blocking plans to extend the runway of the Letkol Wisnu Sumberkima Airport in Buleleng are reported to be deadlocked on any agreement for compensation that would allow the demolishment of their homes and the expansion of the current runway.

According to BisnisBali, some citizens continue to hold out for a more generous pay-out before agreeing to allow the project to proceed.

Of the 49 families who will receive portions of a Rp. 3.3 billion (US$323,500) compensation package, 16 families continue to seek a better offer before agreeing to move. Those rejecting the Rp. 1.6 million per square meter (US$157) compensation offer, claim that the amount is insufficient to secure new land and construct new dwellings.

The head of the team charged to negotiate the land acquisition for the runway extension, Ir. Dewa Ketut Puspaka, has threatened that if the affected families continue to stubbornly refuse the offer of compensation, then the extension of the runways will be on government land located at the other end of the exiting runway.

The Buleleng airport is the home of a fledgling flight academy operating from the North Bali facility.