MEDAN - Is the saga about Medan new airport finally coming to an end? Despite protests by some 100 residents early last week, who oppose the new airport as they will be evicted from their land. The Jakarta Post also reported that some of the work is still not complete such as the rail station. It will take another month to finish the new rail terminal at the airport. Some workers explained to the newspaper that funds have been slow to arrive and consequently delayed the completion of the airport’s facilities. However, the unfinished facilities will not delay the new rail service. Medan is in fact the first city in Indonesia to have a direct rail access.
Medan Kuala Namu International Airport
(KNIA) will then from July 25 officially replace the old Polonia Airport as an international hub in Medan. Transportation Ministry public relations director general Israfulhayat said the airport cost Rp 5.8 trillion (US$ 592 million) to build with 59% of the total budget provided from the Ministry while the rest came from the own financial resources from Airport State Company Angkasa Pura II. Toll roads have only been completed to 80% but the airport’s authority is confident that work will be achieved before the end of the year. In between, passengers with a car will use normal roads with a travel time estimated to then reach an hour.
Medan new Kuala Namu airport stretches over 1,365 hectares and is equipped with a 3,750 m runway, an apron able to accommodate 33 aircraft and a terminal offering a surface of 118,000 m2 for 10 million passengers. Future extension will further enhance the terminal capacity to 15 million passengers. By comparison, the old Polonia airport had only a capacity of 2 million passengers but accommodate over 7.9 million passengers last year.
Most of airlines announced already to boost their operation. Garuda is adding new destinations from Kuala Namu to Bangkok and Penang while already serving Batam, Padang/Pekanbaru, Palembang and Jakarta.
is currently Medan’s busiest international carrier and has announced to launch flights to Singapore. The airline serves for now Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Pekanbaru domestically as well as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The new Singapore route will be opened from August 12.
, President Director of AirAsia Indonesia said the shift to Kuala Namu Airport would provide improved services to AirAsia's guests.“The world-class, state-of-the-art Kuala Namu International Airport is equipped with sophisticated technologies as well as modern amenities designed to provide enhanced services to air transport users, especially AirAsia’s guests. To complement our services, we have also put together a handy Kuala Namu guidebook, which contains an airport directory as well as information on how to get from or to the airport by public transports”.