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October 08, 2011

New Lombok International Airport has been inaugurated on October 1, 2011

The brand new Lombok International Airport, capable of receiving wide-bodied aircraft like Airbus 330 and Boeing 767, is to be inaugurated by Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono on October 1, said Governor of West Nusatenggara, M. Zainul Majdi, as reported to Antara.
Located in Central Lombok, some 40 km south of the present Mataram Selaparang Airport, the Lombok International Airport will have a runway of 2,750 meters x 40 meters and apron to accommodate 10 Airbus 330 aircraft, explained Operational and Technical Director of state-owned Airport Management company, PT Angkasa Pura-I, Haryoso Catur Prayitno, in Central Lombok recently.




The airport is built to handle 3 million passengers a year. Airport simulations will be conducted on September 5-8, 2011.
Initially planned to be operational by July 2011, the airport opening was delayed due to the expansion of the airport terminal area from 14,000 square meters to 21,000 square meters.
The island of Lombok together with Sumbawa - immediate neighbors to the fabled island of Bali - are the major islands that comprise the province of West Nusatenggara. Lombok has grown in popularity for its pristine beaches at Kuta and Senggigi and wonderful underwater life at the Gili islands. Mt. Rinjani, the third highest mountain in Indonesia, is also a favorite area for trekkers.
Next year, West Nusatenggara plans to hold the Visit Lombok-Sumbawa Year 2012. With the operation of the new airport, Lombok hopes to welcome 1 million direct international tourist arrivals within the next few years.
The newly-built BIL encompasses a total area of 551 hectares and has a 2,750-meter-long runway to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts such as the Airbus A 330 and certain types of Boeing 737 or Boeing 747. The airport features a 21,000 m2 terminal area projected to handle 3 million passengers per year and is completed with all necessary facilities such as taxiway, apron, VIP facilities, and information facilities.
To support the new airport, a new bus route has been established from Mataram and Senggigi to BIL. The special buses serving the route have a capacity of 40 passengers and its visual designs are also aimed to promote tourism in Lombok and West Nusa Tenggara. The fare from/to Mataram’s Mandalika Bus Terminal is around IDR 15,000 to 20,000 and from/to Senggigi around IDR 20,000 to 25,000. Taxis will also be available to take passengers around the fabled island of Lombok.

BIL was initiated since the 90s, during Warsito’s tenure as NTB Governor. It was started with the view that the present Selaparang Airport will in the future be overloaded with passengers, considering that Lombok was gradually growing into a significant tourism destination. Today, the current Selaparang Airport is no longer adequate since it has a capacity to serve a maximum 850,000 passengers per year only, while airplane passengers have already exceeded 1.2 million.
Currently, the Selaparang Airport serves domestic airlines including Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Batavia Air, Wings Air - also known as Lion Wings Air (Lion Air), and Trigana. While internationally, SilkAir serves the Singapore to Lombok route. From October 1, 2011, these airlines will surely land at the brand new Lombok International Airport. With the opening of the new Lombok International Airport, more domestic and international airlines are expected to include Lombok in their routes, and the splendors of this splendid island will become more easily accessible.
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