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Runway in Sight?

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Admits the Need for Another Airport in Bali

(4/15/2012) As reported by Balidiscovery.com [See: Off the Radar Screen] , future plans for an airport in Bali’s north remain very much in doubt as concrete details on the much-discussed airport remain hard to come by.

Kompas.com reports that the provincial government of Bali is seeking clarification on the proposed Buleleng airport from the Central Government.

The need for another airport in Bali is made all the more urgent, according to some observers, due to the impossibility of expanding runway capacity at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport. The location of environmentally protected mangrove forests and the close proximity of a Hindu Temple preclude adding another runway at Bali’s existing airport.

Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, speaking at the governor’s office on Thursday, April 12, 2012, said she supported plans for another airport in Bali to support the current Ngurah Rai International Airport. Pangestu said: “We need to review this (the new airport). What’s important is how to meet the demand for flights to Bali and how to make Bali’s north prosper, not only Bali’s south.”

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is undergoing a US$215 million upgrade targeted to be completed before September 2013.