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Holding the Apron Strings in Lombok

Lombok International Airport Slated for Long-Delayed Opening in October 2011.

(6/19/2011) The government now estimates the inauguration of the Lombok International Airport, on Bali's near neighbor island to the east, will take place in October 2011.

Kompas.com reports that the long-delayed project is now in its final stages of completion, including the acquisition of lands needed to improve access to the new airport.

Sapto Kariyadi, the sales manager of the Lombok branch office of Garuda Indonesia in Mataram, Lombok, said: "This can't be postponed further. The airport must be quickly finished due to its meaning for the development of the economy of the island of Lombok."

Sapto said the new Lombok airport will enhance tourism to Lombok due to its ability to handle larger aircraft.

During a visit to the new airport on Monday, June 13, 2011, the vice-minister for transportation, Bambang Susantono, called on contractors to hasten the completion of their work. Said Susantono, "if we want to inaugurate the airport in October, then all work on the airport has to be completed by September."

Sisantono confirmed that the radar and navigation systems are operating and ready to go, with only the terminal and road access work still uncompleted.

The new Lombok International Airport covers an area of 595 hectares. The airport's development cost RP. 802 billion (US$91 million), an increase from the Rp. 665 billion (US$75.6 million) originally estimated for the project.

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[Lombok Airport to Open One Year Behind Schedule]