Tana Toraja, S Sulawesi, (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said construction of a new airport in the district of Tana Toraja in South Sulawesi, would be completed in 2019.

The airport would be contributed to tourism development and economic development in general in the district, the President said after attending Christmas day celebrations here on Sunday.

"I just told the governor and district head that the construction of the airport project would soon be completed," Jokowi, who was accompanied by Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, said.

He said the process of construction of the airport, which will have the capacity to accommodate ATR type of aircraft, has been 20-30 percent completed.

The airport would greatly contribute to development of the tourism potentials of Tana Toraja with its cultural strength, he added.

Currently Tana Toraja already has Pontiku airport in the sub-district of Rantetayo with 900x 23 meter runway, located around nine kilometers from Makale, the capital of the Tana Toraja district.

The district airport has to be replaced as the Pontiku air port could no longer be expanded as it is too close to a hill and ravine.

The new airport would be located in Buntu Kuni, in the sub-district of Mengkendek, Tana Toraja, not far from the Trans Sulawesi highway around 12 kilometers from Makale.

Reporting by Agus Salim, A Saragih
Editing by Bustanuddin

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Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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