"The opening of flight routes from Jakarta directly to Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport is based on an agreement between PT Garuda Indonesia and the Nias District Government on October 10, 2018," Head of the Nias District Communication and Information Agency Dahlan Roso Lase said in Nias on Friday.
He said the Nias District Government had handed over Binaka Gunungsitoli Airport to the Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia in 2014.
"Nias District head Sokhiatulo Laoli, along with the Minister of Transportation, signed the MoU with No. HK. 201/2/11/DRJU. KUM-2014 and 553/16/2014 on 10 October 2014," he said.
In the MoU, the Nias District Government handed over the land along with the land ownership documents of Binaka Gunungsitoli Airport to the Ministry of Transportation with the commitment of the Ministry of Transportation to build Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport facilities.
"The contents of the MoU have been realized with the construction of a runway extension from 1,600 meters to 2,250 meters, and the construction of Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport terminal facilities," he explained.
As the airport facilities were adequate, in 2017, the Nias District Head Drs. Sokhiatulo Laoli asked the Indonesian Minister of Transportation, the Managing Director of PT. Garuda Indonesia and several airline directors to open direct flight from Jakarta to Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport.
After several meetings supported by Minister of Law and Human Rights Yassona H Laoly and Assistant Deputy of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs Kosmas Harefa, the Nias District Government with PT. Garuda Indonesia reached an agreement.
Following an agreement after the November 7 meeting between the Nias District Government and PT. Garuda Indonesia, the Garuda plane will take flight directly from Jakarta to Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport on November 16, 2018.
The direct flights from Jakarta to Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport will be carried out three times a week on Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays.
"Garuda flights go directly from Jakarta to Gunungsitoli Airport, but when they return, Garuda planes from Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport must return through Padang," he said.
In the agreement, the cost of parking, handling, and provision of land for the construction of an avtur tank is the responsibility of the Regional Government of the Nias.
PT Pertamina established an avtur tank at Binaka Airport after the Jakarta route to Gunungsitoli Binaka Airport had been operating for four months.
The Nias District Government Agreement with PT. Garuda Indonesia will be signed on November 14, 2018, in Jakarta.
Reporting by Juraidi dan Irwanto
Editing by Eliswan