Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Air Force will relocate four air squadrons from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, East Jakarta, that is scheduled to undergo a major renovation during which flight activities will be suspended.

"Halim Perdanakusuma Airport will be closed on January 1, 2021. The renovation is the direct instruction from President Joko Widodo as he also felt the airport runway needs to be repaired," the Air Force Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo, said during a press tour and media gathering event at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, East Jakarta, on Wednesday.

The chief of staff concurred with the President, saying the runway has been active for decades, with land subsidence affecting its condition.

"We observe that land subsidence has occurred due to groundwater and other soil factors. The subsidence that we have observed from two years ago is also affecting the airport runway," Prasetyo noted.

Besides the airport's runway, the military terminal, apron, and the VIP building will also undergo renovation, he informed.

The revitalization is expected to extend the runway's life by at least 20 years, he added.

"Fortunately, Mr. President is attentive to the airport's condition, and he has also provided the airport with the budget needed for the renovation," the chief of staff stated.

On account of the renovation, Prasetyo said he has instructed the four squadrons based at the airport to make Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Banten or Husein Sastranegara Airport in Bandung, West Java their temporary base.

"The 17 Air Squadron serving presidential and VVIP flights will relocate to Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The airport operator has agreed to provide some space, including a dedicated terminal, for the squadron," he disclosed.

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The CN-293 Air Squadron 2, C-130 Hercules Air Squadron 31, and Technical Air Squadron 021 will be relocated to Husein Sastranegara Airport, and the squadron officers stationed at the airport will be rotated every two weeks, he added.

"The relocated aircraft are all ready to fly. The technical air squadron will also relocate because the new location is not too distant. Besides, the alternative airport can accommodate the squadron's activities, including the officers' lodgings," Prasetyo said.

The airport renovation, planned by the Transportation Ministry, has involved intensive deliberation and coordination from several authorities, such as the Air Force, the Defence Ministry, and airport operator Angkasa Pura, he added.

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Translator: Syaiful Hakim, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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