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Bali New Airport of the North: Build it Right

Governor Warns that New North Bali Airport Must have Supporting Services and Infrastructure in Order to Succeed

(4/6/2014) Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika is warning that any new international airport for Bali in North Bali must include supporting facilities and infrastructure investment or risk failing to attract tourists and the airlines that serve them.

As reported by Beritabali.com, the Governor issued his warning on Thursday, April 3, 2014, after hearing a presentation by PT Pembangunan Bali Mandiri who presented the results of a feasibility study conducted by the company regarding plans for a North Bali Airport.

Pastika said that in order for a more equitable distribution of the fruits of development between Bali’s north and south to take place, more than the mere construction of the new airport must take place, but the propozed airport also needs supporting services and the relevant connecting infrastructure.

“It’s useless if we build a great airport, if the passengers who use it get nothing out of it. (If this happens) I guarantee the new airport won’t last long and will soon the quiet and empty. In addition to supporting facilities, the infrastructure leading to the airport must also be considered,” opined Pastika.

The Governor said he hoped with the selection of Kubutambahan by PT Pebangunan Bali Mandiri that area proves itself fully viable and appropriate, and that other non-relevant consideration have somehow played a role in the area’s selection.

The Governor reminded that in addition to considerations of supporting services and infrastructure, the construction of the new airport must also contemplate the social and cultural needs of the Balinese people. Pastika warned developers that the daily life of the Balinese is intertwined with daily religious ritual and local traditions, which can never be ignored.

“Don’t let our good intentions collide with the cultural norms of the people, creating future problems. Many Balinese still desire Bali to remain as it is, worried what the effects of development will have on their daily lives. Therefore, as much as possible, clearly socialize to the people plans for the new airport,” said Pastika.

Meanwhile, the CEO of PT Pembangunan Mandiri, Nur Hasan Ahmad, explained that the latest presentation by his team represented an update an improvement on the earlier feasibility study conducted in 2013, including many improvements in terms of protecting local culture.

Ahmad said: “The results of the latest feasibility study places greater emphasis on local cultural and religious values. This includes avoiding the need to relocate religious temples and burial grounds, avoiding the physical dislocation of local people, and the minimization of the need for land acquisition - now limited to a few hectares of rice fields by prioritizing the use on non-productive lands at Kubutambahan.”

Ahmad promised that Bali’s new airport of the north would be of an international standard meeting all technical, safety and operational requirements as well built in compliance with all national and provincial laws.

Ahmad continued: “PT Pembangunan Bali Mandiri is not an investor, we only carry out the research and explain our results to the regional heads. If the project is considered viable, we will open the tender process to investors. Be assured that the tender process will be transparent to both the people and the government, making it clear the benefit that they will all receive from the development of the North Bali Airport.”