Manokwari, Papua Barat (ANTARA) - Acting Governor of West Papua, Paulus Waterpauw, announced on Sunday that Garuda Indonesia will open a new domestic flight route to and from Manokwari.

He stated that he discussed the plan with high-ranking officials from the Transportation Ministry and Garuda Indonesia.

"They have agreed, but the Rendani Airport's runway needs to be extended," he said in Manokwari.

Waterpauw mentioned that his provincial government will receive assistance from the operator of the BP Tangguh gas fields in the form of subsidies for 40 flight seats per day.

This assistance aims to increase the number of flights to and from West Papua.

"It is very helpful for the local government," Waterpauw said.

The provincial government, along with the Manokwari district government, is expediting the completion of the Rendani Airport development project, he added.

He mentioned that the central government has made it a requirement to develop the airport for Garuda Indonesia to operate flights there.

"That's why we are accelerating the completion of the project," he said.

Meanwhile, Manokwari District Head Hermus Indou stated that the airport's 2,500-meter runway will be extended to 3,000 meters.

"The land acquisition will be carried out in stages," he said.

He informed that the Rendani Airport covers 134.5 hectares of land, but some areas are occupied by individuals without permissions, and the district government needs to relocate them.

Head of Bank Indonesia West Papua Representative Office, Rommy Sariu Tamawiwy, expressed appreciation for the plan to increase the number of flight services.

"People will have more choices, and the inflation rate from air transport can be suppressed," he said.

Data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) for West Papua shows that the combined year-on-year inflation of the two cities (Manokwari and Sorong) in July 2023 was 3.62 percent, with transportation services contributing significantly (6.23 percent).

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Translator: Fransiskus Salu Weking, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Anton Santoso
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