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Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 14:30
Jokowi to Inaugurate Two Border Airports
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is scheduled to inaugurate two airports in Indonesia's remote areas – including the northernmost on Miangas Island in North Sulawesi – this week, in a move to develop and invigorate the country's border areas.
Speaking to reporters in North Kayong, West Sulawesi, the president reiterated the government's commitment to create better connectivity between the country's furthermost regions, as well as maintaining Indonesia's national sovereignty.
He cited the newly-inaugurated Ranai Airport in Natuna district, Riau Islands, which has seen a massive upgrade from only 243 meter squares to 3,856 sqm wide earlier this week.
“In three days, we will also open the airport in Miangas, the northernmost, near Philippines,” the president said on Saturday (15/10), referring to Miangas Airport in North Sulawesi that has a 1,400 meter-long runway, enough for a twin-engine ATR-72 short-haul regional airliner to land.
The government had spent $15.3 million on the construction of Miangas Airport, with the Transportation Ministry set to add another $7.6 million for runway extensions in the future.
“We will also open an airport in Yahukimo [Papua] in three days. The districts in border areas will be developed to improve the connectivity which will unity us as a nation,” the president said.
The development of Dekai Airport in Yahukimo district was initiated in 2004. The central and regional government jointly spent $24.6 million to establish the airport that has 2,070 meter-long runway.
The inauguration will be one of many on Jokowi's agenda during his Papua visit, which will start on Monday.