"In the name of God, I inaugurate the passenger terminal of the Kuabang Airport in North Halmahera District, North Maluku Province," President Jokowi stated at the Kuabang Airport, North Maluku, on Wednesday.
President Jokowi made the statement after directly reviewing the development of the passenger terminal building of Kuabang Airport.
During the observation, President Jokowi was accompanied by Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir, Governor of North Maluku Abdul Gani Kasuba, and other related officials.
The head of state expressed belief that the airport’s construction was not only for building infrastructure but also for building civilization.
"Now, we must be disciplined to arrive on time since we come to the airport to fly to another city, and the time has been determined. If not, we will miss the flight. It also develops a new sense of discipline and builds civilization," President Jokowi emphasized.
In addition, Kuabang Airport is expected to offer economic benefits to the community.
"Hence, I warmly welcome, thank God, this passenger terminal at the Kuabang Airport that is ready to support the activities of the people of North Halmahera and its surroundings, and we hope that new centers of economic growth will emerge around this airport," the president added.
Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi noted that the Kuabang Airport had a runway length of 2,400 meters.
"The length of the runaway spanning 2,400 meters is quite big and adequate for connectivity to boost tourism and economic activity. This airport is complementary to the Sultan Babullah Airport in Ternate," Sumadi stated.
With a runway measuring 2,400 meters long and 30 meters wide, the Kuabang Airport can accommodate narrow-bodied aircraft.
The Kuabang Airport’s passenger terminal, built with the state budget worth Rp50.82 billion, has an area of 3,500 square meters that can accommodate up to 160 thousand passengers annually.
The airport also has a 100 x 23 meter taxiway and a 157 x 72 meter parking runway (apron) that can accommodate three ATR aircraft and one Boeing aircraft.
Kuabang Airport functions as an alternative to the Sultan Babullah Airport in Ternate that is located close to Sofifi, the capital of North Maluku Province.
The Sultan Babullah Ternate Airport, located in proximity to the active Mount Gamalama and Mount Dukono, often experiences operational disruptions owing to frequent eruptions of the two mountains.
The Kuabang Airport, located 85 kilometers from Sofifi, is considered strategic and not affected by the eruption from the two mountains, so the Ministry of Transportation considers this airport to be feasible to be developed.
Kuabang Airport is one of the entrances by air into North Halmahera District deemed crucial to open accessibility and connectivity from and to North Halmahera District that has several mainstay natural and marine tourism destinations, such as Luari Beach, Tupu-Tupu Marine Park, Tagalaya and Pawole, Kakara Island, Bobale Island, the small islands of Loloda, and Panamboang Beach.
Moreover, this airport has the potential to serve people and goods as well as to support gold mining operations in the Gosowong area, North Halmahera District, which is managed by mining company PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals.
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