The airport airstrip extension is still in the construction process and is targeted for completion in May.
PT Angkasa Pura I (Persero) targets the extension and pavement of the airstrip of Lombok International Airport, West Nusa Tenggara, to be completed before the implementation of world-class motorcycle racing, MotoGP in the Mandalika Special Economic Zone (KEK) in October 2021.
General Manager of Angkasa Pura I Lombok International Airport Nugroho Jati said that the airport airstrip extension is still under construction and targeted for completion in May 2021.
“In June, we will concentrate on testing the strength and feasibility of operations and others so that they can be operated in July 2021 to support the MotoGP event,” he said.
He said the airstrip for Lombok International Airport was extended from 2,750 meters to 3,300 meters with funds reaching Rp. 500 billion. According to Nugroho, with the extension of the it will be able to accommodate wide-body aircraft of the Boeing 777 type with a non-stop flight distance of 14 hours from Lombok to London, England.
For now, the 2,750-meter airstrip can only accommodate medium-bodied aircraft of the Boeing 737 which has a flight range of four hours.
“If we pull it in diameter with the midpoint in Lombok, then Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, East Asia, the Middle East, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific, we can all fly directly,” he said.
For international hubs, he said, his party is more targeting flight routes from Lombok to Dubai, Lombok-Qatar, Lombok-Hong Kong, Lombok-Tokyo, Lombok-Beijing, and Lombok-South Korea.
These countries are in the eye because they have a portfolio of routes around the world with far better connectivity, both for the transportation of people and goods.
Nugroho added that direct flights to various countries in the European, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions could also boost exports of various NTB commodities.
However, he continued, of course it depends on the capabilities of all industrial sectors in NTB, ranging from agriculture, livestock, fisheries and others. It also depends on the ability of exporters and importers in opening overseas markets.
“We have also carried out promotions to all airlines abroad, especially those with a portfolio of flight routes around the world,” he said.