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Jakarta CGK airport close to total choke

Continuous growth in air traffic and the addition of more flights are increasingly threatening Jakarta Soekarno Hatta Airport with little solution envisioned for now to relieve Southeast Asia’s first airport in passengers traffic…

JAKARTA – With much fanfare and buzz, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accompanied by Indonesia Vice President Boediono came on August 3, 2012 to launch much-awaited expansion works at Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport (CGK), after years of delays. The Rp 7.6 trillion (US$820 million) expansion project is intended in a first phase to increase the annual passenger capacity of Terminal 1, which serves domestic routes, from 9 million to 18 million, and the capacity of Terminal 2 which serves international routes, from 9 million to 19 million and multiply by five the capacity of Terminal 3, used for now by low cost carriers. Total capacity for the terminal would then reach 25 million instead of a mere four million passengers for now.

Except that so far, nothing or very little has been done at CGK while the ministry’s director general for air transportation, Herry Bakti Sukma Gumay expressed last week his concern about congestion at the airport while talking to Indonesian media. The specialist explained that air traffic at Soekarno-Hatta airport was being tightly monitored due to the density of flights. He indicated that the airport’s emergency flight slots had been reduced to only 10 percent although they should be kept at 20 percent. However, this level would still be tolerable. Over 1,200 flights connect every day CGK to the rest of the world and Indonesia. “Our current challenge is how to manage air traffic flows,” Herry said.

Airport’s management as well as air traffic must then be permanently on alert to be sure that no incident occurs. As it immediately disorganized traffic at the airport and multiply delays with a rippled effect across the entire archipelago. Once work completed at the airport, Jakarta will have a capacity of 62 million passengers a year compared to 25 million now… The airport welcomes already over 55 million passengers annually!

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.