"We have to be prepared in line with a favorable growth in the number of passengers in Bangka Belitung. We hope that preparedness of the terminal facility at Depati Amir Airport would attract more tourists," President Jokowi said.Pangkal Pinang, Bangka (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the new terminal of the Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang City, Bangka Belitung Province, on Thursday, that is expected to increase local revenue through the tourism sector.
"The Depati Amir Airport in Bangka Belitung Province, as we have seen now, is more appropriate," the president told the media after the inauguration held at the airport's check-in terminal.
The president signed two inscriptions for the new airport terminal and the Special Economic Zones of Bangka Belitung.
Jokowi elaborated that the authority will further build the right wing of the terminal to accommodate some three million passengers, the development for which is expected to be completed in 2020.
Furthermore, the construction will be expanded to the left wing, with a capacity to accommodate five million passengers, he added.
"We have to be prepared in line with a favorable growth in the number of passengers in Bangka Belitung. We hope that preparedness of the terminal facility at Depati Amir Airport would attract more tourists," he noted.
The Depati Amir Airport, with a 2,600-meter-long runway, had accommodated 2.98 million passengers in 2017.
The airport's apron, which could earlier handle only four large-bodied aircraft, can currently accommodate nine large airplanes, such as Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
The terminal's first-stage development was completed in January 2017.
According to Jokowi, the airport is expected to boost the province's economic potential, including the tourism sector in Tanjung Gunung and Tanjung Kelayang Special Economic Zones.
The zones have been declared as special zones for tourism owing to the proximity to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.
Reporting by Bayu Prasetyo, Sri Haryati EDITED BY INE