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Airport Under Scrutiny

Regional Parliament Visits Bali's Airport Giving Low Marks for Service.

(5/20/2002) Members of Commission "E" from Bali's regional Parliament(DPRD) recently visited Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport, giving low marks for the level of service extended to visitors arriving from abroad.

As reported in the May 16, 2002, edition of Jawa Post - Radar Bali, members of the parliamentary delegation discovered that inbound international passengers arriving during peak traffic periods can stand in line for 2-3 hours while waiting for immigration clearance.

Mr. Pande Gde Soebratha, who led the inspection team on their airport visit, asked that some of the estimated Rp. 436 billion in profits generated by the airport authority - P.T. Angkasa Pura be plowed back into providing a better level of passenger service, stating "we are concerned that while we promote Bali vigorously overseas, the service (at the airport) is inadequate."

In defense of Angkasa Pura, Mr. IGM Dhordy, who heads Bali's airport authority, pointed out how the airport had more than doubled the number of immigration counters two years ago without any corresponding increase in immigration officers to staff the new counters. As a result, 8 new counters in the arrival hall annex have remained largely unused since their installation.

Local tourism observers have expressed their concern over how the limited immigration staff at the airport will handle the heavy onslaught of visitors expected in late May during the PrepCom meeting where 6,000 delegates are expected or if the government goes ahead with plans to have immigration officers collect a visa fee from every arriving passengers.