North Bali airport project takes a pause as it awaits progress in the development of North-South access

Pemuteran Bay. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Pemuteran Bay. Photo: Coconuts Bali

The development of an airport on the north coast of Bali might take a little longer to get off the ground than first expected as Indonesia’s transportation minister has stressed that the project would depend on the progress of the island’s North-South toll road.

While visiting the island last Friday, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi emphasized that supporting infrastructure, such as the North-South toll road, would be key to the success of a new airport situated in the north of Bali. 

“We agreed that we will finalize plans for (North Bali airport) when we finalize plans for supporting infrastructure connecting North and South Bali,” Budi said as quoted by state news agency Antara

“We have several alternatives, including toll roads, trains, or even highways. But this is in the domain of PUPR, because we will not build the North Bali airport without that infrastructure.”

According to Budi, since the development of toll roads usually face issues regarding land acquisitions, their development is dependent on the country’s Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR). 

“So we are still waiting on what PUPR will decide upon,” Budi said, adding that the airport’s construction itself will take around two to three years. 

He also confirmed that the location of the new airstrip would still be in Buleleng regency, as officials previously announced. As reported by Antara, the village of Kubutambahan is the most likely spot for the new transportation hub as village officials have reportedly already agreed to allow the development of an airport on their land. 

It seems Kubutambahan came around to the idea relatively recently since the village’s head had previously objected to the idea in December of last year over fears that the village’s local customs, culture and wisdom would be destroyed should the new airport be built there. 

As reported by Detik, Budi also said last year that the airport in North Bali will likely serve low-cost carriers, whereas Ngurah Rai International Airport will be focused on high-end airlines and travelers. 

Read more news and updates from Bali here.

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