Latest news about PT Angkasa Pura II (Persero)
Jakarta - Silangit International Airport in North Tapanuli began earlier this week to serve flights of Boeing 737-800 Next Generation (NG) classmates.
This is good news for the national tourism sector, especially the Lake Toba tourist area.
Sriwijaya Air is the first airline to operate a Boeing 737-800 NG on the Jakarta - Silangit route since the beginning of this week.
Previously, Sriwijaya Air used Boeing Classic aircraft with a capacity of 120 passengers or less compared to the 737-800 NG capable of carrying 189 passengers.
President Director of PT Angkasa Pura II (Persero) Muhammad Awaluddin said tourism in Lake Toba will grow further along with the increase in Silangit Airport's ability to service flights.
"The airline welcomes because Silangit can now land 737-800 NG or classmates such as 737-900 ER and Airbus A320, because remote operational costs can be reduced and on the other hand passenger seat capacity actually increases."
After Sriwijaya Air, Garuda Indonesia plans to operate 737-800 NG on the Jakarta - Silangit route starting February 18, 2019. Previously, Garuda used the Bombardier CRJ-1000 type aircraft with a capacity of under 100 passengers.
It is hoped that in the near future, one airline will open direct flights on the Jakarta route - Silangit.
"Before this there was doubt on the airline to open flights at Silangit Airport because only certain types of aircraft could land, even though the national airline fleet was heavily reinforced by 737-800 NG, 737-900 ER and Airbus A320. But now, airlines will be very interested in opening flights at Silangit Airport, "said Muhammad Awaluddin.
In addition to increasing runway capacity, AP II will also expand aircraft passenger terminals up to five times from the current 2,500 square meters to 10,499 square meters.
The terminal expansion makes Silangit Airport able to accommodate movements of up to 1 million passengers per year, from now only around 500,000 passengers.
On one occasion, President Joko Widodo also said that the development of Silangit Airport had been carried out and now it was better.
"I request repair, repair the runway, extend the runway, expand the terminal," said the President.
Now, the President continued, based on reports he received, flights to Silangit were always full.
President Jokowi also stressed that Lake Toba is included in 4 priority areas to be developed among the 10 prepared areas to become New Bali.
"The government has 10 New Bali programs, of which there are 4 priorities to be developed and one of them is the Lake Toba area. AP II will support the Lake Toba region as a priority by committing to build Silangit Airport, "said Muhammad Awaluddin.
The number of aircraft passengers in Silangit does continue to grow significantly every year. In 2016 passenger movement was recorded at 155,214 people, then up 82% in 2017 to 282,586 people.
Then in 2018 the movement of passengers was 425,476 people, up 50.56% compared to 2017.