The operation of the skytrain, also known as the automated people mover system (APMS) train, was launched on Sunday to coincide with the National Transport Day.
Passengers or other visitors, who usually board a bus to travel between the airports Terminals 1, 2, and 3, can now use a skytrain, though the service is available for limited hours.
However, once fully operational, it will serve passengers round the clock and is expected to be integrated with the airport train that serves routes linking it with Jakarta and its buffer towns of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek).
To this end, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno has planned to integrate the operations of the APMS skytrain with the airport train before the year-end.
"The skytrain has been operational at the Soekarno-Hatta airport, though the operations are still limited. However, we hope that the Skytrain and Jabodetabek commuter line train to the airport would have been connected before the end of the year," the minister stated.
The minister made the remarks while accompanying President Joko Widodo to review the Village Economic Center built by PT Telkom Indonesia in Tuksongo Village, Magelang District, Central Java, on Monday (Sept 18).
According to the minister, the skytrain has yet to become fully operational and only connects Terminal 3 with Terminal 2 of the Soekarno-Hatta airport. She said her side continues to improve the operations until the skytrain will eventually connect Terminals 1, 2, and 3 or even Terminal 4, which is still under construction.
Currently, passengers of Garuda Indonesia airlines who arrive from Singapore disembark at Terminal 2. If they want to take a connecting flight to Banjarmasin, they have to board a bus to reach Terminal 3.
Garuda passengers looking to fly to the Philippines from Solo, Central Java, need to make a transit at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport through Terminal 2 and take a bus to Terminal 3 to board the aircraft for the Philippines.
"With the skytrain becoming operational, the movement of passengers between terminals could be faster. If its operations are integrated with that of the Jabodetabek electric train, the mobility of passengers to and from the airport could become faster," Minister Soemarno pointed out.
She noted that the quality of the APMS service should be increased to meet the standard operating procedure.
"This is the first APMS we have, and we should guarantee that passengers feel secure and comfortable," she emphasized.
In the meantime, Muhammad Awaluddin, the president director of airport operator company Angkasa Pura II, said that in the first phase, the train will serve a route of 1,700 meters. One skytrain has two coaches, with a capacity of 176 passengers.
It will serve flight passengers or airport visitors from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 and vice versa at 7-9 a.m., 12-2 p.m., and 5-7 p.m. Western Indonesia Standard Time.
"In the long run, the skytrain will operate 24 hours. It is expected to serve as a pioneer in the development of modes of transportation in Indonesia that will help the people to move easily from one place to another.
Once it becomes fully operational, the skytrain, being built at a cost of Rp950 billion, will have a headway of five minutes and a coverage time of seven minutes.
The coaches of the skytrain, worth Rp530 billion, are built by state-owned company PT Lembaga Elektronika Nasional (LEN) Industri and Woojin of South Korea, while the construction of its tracks and shelters, valued at Rp420 billion, was carried out by state-owned construction firm PT Wijaya Karya (Wika) and PT Indulexco.
"The skytrain project in being developed through synergy among state companies: Angkasa Pura II, LEN Industri, and Wika. We hope this synergy would serve as an example for other state companies in their efforts to provide the best for the country," Awaluddin stated.
According to Awaluddin, the skytrain is a crewless means of transportation in Indonesia using the "automated guideway transit" system operated ahead of the Asian Games to be held in the country in 2018
"On the National Transport Day, we view the skytrain operating in the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport as a modern mode of public transportation that we have never seen, so far, in Indonesia. This demonstrates that the countrys transportation sector has continued to expand," Awaluddin remarked.
In the first phase, the skytrain will operate with six crew members as part of the efforts to increase familiarization and socialization. Later, it will operate without crew. Following the completion of the phases, the skytrain will link Terminal 3, Terminal 2, the airport railway station, and Terminal 1. The dual track system with cover a total distance of 3,050 meters.(*)