"Infrastructure development is building this civilization, which we often do not realize,” the President remarked while inaugurating the passenger terminal at Kuabang Airport in North Halmahera district of North Maluku province.
Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir, Governor of North Maluku, Abdul Gani Kasuba, and other officials also attended the inauguration.
"Many people have asked me why infrastructure is the focus of development in our country, Indonesia. I need to say that infrastructure is not only physical, but many things will emerge and develop due to infrastructure construction," Widodo elaborated.
"Imagine, for example, before there was a road from North Halmahera to Sofifi, we had to walk; now that the road is available means that you can take a bus, ride a motorcycle, you can ride a car, build a new civilization," he added.
The presence of an airport in the community can also foster a new civilization, the President said.
"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," he observed.
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The creation of infrastructure also improves competitiveness so that regions can compete with other regions, he pointed out.
In addition, infrastructure development, including construction of airports, can also be a way to promote social justice and the unity and integrity of Indonesia, Widodo said.
"From North Halmahera, you can fly to Jakarta, you can fly to Aceh, you can fly to Kalimantan, you can fly to the East to Papua," he elaborated.
He said he hopes that Kuabang Airport can create new economic growth points even though during the pandemic the airport is only operating charter aircraft.
Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Sumadi said: "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.”
With a runway measuring 2,400 meters in length and 30 meters in width, the Kuabang Airport can accommodate narrow-bodied aircraft.
The airport’s passenger terminal, which was built with state budget funds of Rp50.82 billion, is spread over an area of 3,500 square meters and 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.
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