New apron for private jets, charter flights

by Desy Nurhayati on 2013-05-24

The management of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is planning to build an apron to accommodate more private jets and charter flights landing on the island.

Efferson Siregar, operational manager of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, said on Friday that a special parking space was needed considering the airport received an average of 500 private aircraft every month.

“We are planning to build an apron that will accommodate 14 narrow/small-bodied airplanes. The construction will be completed by the end of August,” he told Bali Daily after attending a meeting to discuss the project.

As part of the ongoing major project to expand the airport, this facility would be built at the south of the airport, with a special exit gate, separate from the terminal used by passengers on regular flights, he said.

At present, the airport can only accommodate four charter aircraft, and sometimes they are not allowed to park overnight due to lack of available space.

Efferson said that the apron construction was also part of the preparations for the highly anticipated APEC Summit in October.

“There will be many VVIP guests and delegates arriving by private aircraft to attend the summit.”

In addition to the new apron, the airport management is also renovating the parking area for regular flights to accommodate more planes.

At present, 16 mid-sized planes, 10 large planes and 11 small planes can occupy this parking space.

The renovation will allow the facility to house 20 mid-sized planes, 11 large planes and 16 small planes.

The additional apron space for chartered and private aircrafts would allow more VIPs and high-end tourists to visit the island, said Bagus Sudibya, deputy chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Bali chapter.

He explained that there were two types of charter flights commonly used by foreign tourists: planes carrying large numbers of passengers from a specific country and private planes.

“It would be good for Bali to welcome more private planes, as they usually carry high-end tourists or VIPs that would spend a considerable amount of money during their stay on the island. We need to attract that kind of visitor.”

It is also good to welcome more charter flights that carry a large number of passengers, as long as those flights come from countries that have no regular flight to Bali, and could bring tourists from markets with potential.

“If this charter flight served a similar route to a regular flight, and it offered cheaper prices, it would impact badly causing unhealthy competition,” he said.

He cited an example that around 1994, many charter flights carrying a large number of tourists from Germany caused some German airlines to stop serving their Bali route.

“Tourism stakeholders in Bali were trying to convince those flag carriers to resume their route to Bali, but they rejected the proposal stating we did not have a clear policy on the matter.”

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