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Bali Officials Block Aviators Dreams

A land dispute involving Bali’s Provincial Government and the North Bali Administration of Buleleng Regency shows no signs of an end. The disagreement is disrupting the efficient and full operation of the Bali International Flight Academy (BIFA).

Letkol Wisnu Airport

The Airport has been used for almost 15 years to train young aviators participating in professional flight training, serving as the flight base for a single and multi-engine aircraft fleet. On land adjacent to the runway, BIFA operates an International flight academy housing classrooms, flight simulators, air-conditioned dormitories for male and female cadets, a dining hall, and recreational facilities, including a student fitness center and swimming pool.

The officials of Buleleng Regency in North Bali and Bali Provincial Administrators in Denpasar are at odds in an extended dispute over ownership of the Letkol Wisnu Airport at the Village of Sumberkima in Gerokgak District and whether the Province or the Regency are entitled to any revenues derived from the airdrome. With officials content to continue arguing over the Airport’s ownership, the lease agreement with the Bali International Flight Academy (BIFA) based at the remote Airport has expired.

Its uncertain status threatens the future operation of BIFA at Sumberkima and the role that location plays in the ongoing education of the next generation of Indonesia’s future pilots.

Ketut Lihadnyana, an official for the Buleleng Regency, told, that the Regency only owns 20% of the total land occupied by the Airport. The Provincial Government of Bali owns 80% of the land area.

This breakdown in the composition of the ownership of the Airport was recently unearthed by the State Audit Board (KPK) by examining the past rental contract between BIFA and the Regency of Buleleng. KPK now insists that any future land contract include three parties: the Regency, the Province of Bali, and BFA.

As a result, according to Lihadnyana, the Regency of Buleleng is calling on the Province of Bali to “gift” 80% of the land area to the Regency. The province has yet to formally agree to the suggestion to grant the Regency 100% ownership of the airport land.

On the assumption that 100% ownership of the Letkol Wisnu Airport can be put in the hands of the Buleleng Regency, plans are in local hands to upgrade the Airport to expand its use to a general-purpose commercial airport.

The Head of the Regency’s Transportation Agency, Gede Gunawan AP, confirmed discussions are underway to renew the land lease with BIFA. The old contract rented the 750 square meter hangar area within the Airport to BIFA for Rp. 30 million per year.

Gunawan explained that land certificates for the Letkol Wisnu Airport are comprised of the following:

– 2 hectares held by the Regency of Buleleng.

– 8 hectares held by the Bali Provincial Administration.

– 1.3 hectares of the total land occupied by the Airport remains uncertificated.

Bali International Flight Academy (BIFA)

Established in 2009 by the banking and aviation legend, the late Robby Djohan, BIFA embodies its founder’s mantra that education is the cornerstone of improving the quality of life for the Indonesian people. The Academy has graduated some 800 commercial aviators who now hold senior positions with leading Indonesian and Regional air carriers.

The BIFA Campus, located adjacent to the now-disputed Airport, provides:

Air-conditioned student dormitories and dining facilities are available to serve 100 students.

BIFA Satellite Training Sites are located at the Banyuwangi Airport in East Java and Tjilik Ruwut Airport in Palangkaraya, Kalimantan, are now helping to compensate for what should be a temporary closure of the runway at Letkol Wisnu Airport. 

Meanwhile, classes continue at the Airport’s adjacent campus, with flight training at the Academy’s satellite aerodromes.

Letkol Wisnu Airfield

The Letkol Wisnu Airport, sometimes called The Buleleng Airport, is located at Sumberkima Village in Buleleng North Bali. 

The Airport opened in 2007 and has been home to The Bali International Flight Academy, which began using the airfield in 2009.

The runway is 1,400 meters long.

Related Links

BIFA-I Wish I Could Fly!

Bali International Flight Academy Website

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