Gorontalo (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expected Panua Airport, the newest domestic airport in Gorontalo Province's Pohuwato District to bolster the regional economy as well as the mobility of passengers and logistics.

"I am glad, praise be to God that Panua Airport in Pohuwato District has been completed. Transportation Minister (Budi Karya Sumadi) told me that Rp473 billion (US$29.14 million) has been spent for the development," the president stated while officiating the airport here on Monday.

He said the airport development proved Indonesia is keen to make faster progress in its national economy and development.

"(It is) because in the future, the case is not larger countries that overpower smaller countries, but countries (whose development) progress is faster will beat countries who lag behind," Jokowi stated.

The president also instructed Panua Airport's runway of 1,200 x 30 meters to be extended to allow larger aircraft to land.

"I instructed (officials) to take measures to extend the runway length this year, if possible, or next year by the latest," he remarked.

Meanwhile, Minister Sumadi stated that the airport is one of the president's commitments to ensuring equitable development across the country.

"The airport is one of the legacies of the president who always instructs us to develop airports in all corners of the nation," the minister said.

He highlighted that the high budget of Rp473 billion disbursed for Panua Airport's development aims to improve the soil condition in the airport area before the construction commences.

The president arrived at Panua Airport for the inauguration on Monday at 7:51 a.m. local time. He departed from Djalaluddin Airport in the province's capital aboard an ATR 72-600 aircraft, the largest aircraft currently being served at the new airport.

Before being officially opened by the president, the inaugural flight from and to Panua Airport had taken place on February 18, 2024.

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Translator: Susanti Sako, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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