Gallant Venture, the parent company of Salim Group-owned Bintan Resort, is said to fund up to US$ 150 million for the project.
“We’ve conducted a land preparation; we’re currently working on the runway and airport development,” said PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala general manager Abdul Wahab.
Apart from the airport, Sriwijaya Air’s Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) is also going to be built there. Indonesia’s first private airport is currently being developed on Bintan Island by PT Bintan Resort Cakrawala together with private carrier Sriwijaya Air.
Currently, Bintan island already operates Kijang Airport was transferred to PT Angkasa Pura II. Built in 2000, the airport was formerly served from Malacca in Malaysia by Sky Aviation. This was stopped in mid-2013 when Sky Aviation ceased operations. After that, the airport has not had any regular international destinations.
The total area of the new private airport is estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500 hectares.
The construction of the first development phase, which includes a 300-meter runway, an airport building, and MRO, is set to be done by 2019 and the airport will be ready for operation the year after. The new MRO will accept reparation service requests from other airlines considering the fact that the number of MRO available in Indonesia is still limited.
“The completion of the first phase is expected to bring in two to three million tourists to Bintan Island,” Abdul added.
The second phase will focus on the development of an airport hub, which includes a flight school, and is expected to complete by 2025, “The airport hub can contribute between 25,000 and 35,000 workers from different regions in Indonesia,” said Abdul.
The next stage will be the development of a second runway. With the new airport, Abdul says the island is targeting to welcome 600,000 tourists until the end of the year, of which 80 percent of them are from overseas. The average number of foreign tourist visiting Bintan per year is 200,000 people.
“The number of foreign tourists in Bintan in 2016 reached 2,004,000 people; that’s 17 percent of the total tourists in Indonesia. Moreover, Bintan Airport will help solve air connectivity problems,” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya.