The Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan, North Sumatra is set to begin operations from July 25, 2013, said Salahuddin Rafi, Airport Director, PT Angkasa Pura II. Garuda Indonesia is likely to take off the first aircraft from the airport, travmedia.com reported.
Kuala Namu Airport will be the second largest and busiest airport in Indonesia after the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta and will replace the present Polonia Airport, which is already the fourth busiest airport in the country after Jakarta, Denpasar and Surabaya.
The newly built airport has a runway of 3,750 metres by 60 metres to allow landing and take-off of wide-bodied aircraft. The airport is built to serve nine million passengers in its first phase and 16 million passengers in its second phase, catering to 4.5 million international passengers and 2.6 million international transit passengers. The terminal covers a 6.5-hectare area, with 3.5 hectares for commercial use.
Rafi said, "Simulations, airport technical and navigational checks have been meticulously made since January this year and all are confirmed 100 per cent ready to operate."
During the transition period, Medan will be served by two airports simultaneously, as Polonia airport will continue to operate, while Kuala Namu undergoes its initial operations.
Construction on the Kuala Namu International Airport has been delayed a number of times. Originally planned in 1991, it was postponed as a result of the Asian Economic Crisis. Nonetheless, today, since the airport is key in the country's Accelerated Economic Plan (MP3EI), and an important hub in the ASEAN Open Sky 2015 accord, the Kuala Namu Airport has been the focus for the economic development for the whole of Sumatra.