Jayapura (ANTARA) - The Provincial Government of Papua is planning to start the work to extend the runway of Douw Aturure Airport in Nabire District that was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo in November last year.

"We held a meeting with Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Wednesday (May 15) in Jakarta during which we spoke about the expansion of Nabire's new airport," Acting Central Papua Governor Ribka Haluk noted in a press release received in Jayapura, Papua, on Friday.

Haluk stated that the provincial government would commence the extension of the airport's runway this year in a bid to enable it to accommodate Boeing aircraft. Currently, the runway stretches 1,600 meters, making it suitable only for smaller planes, such as ATR-type aircraft.

"Moreover, we have submitted a proposal to utilize the assets of Nabire's older airport. The proposal was then followed up by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU)," she pointed out.

The acting governor further noted that the extension of the Douw Aturure Airport's runway would further enhance Central Papua's accessibility and economy.

"The extension of the new airport's runway will greatly boost our air transport capacity and stimulate economic growth in Central Papua," she stated.

Related news: Central Papua's Douw Aturure Airport can draw more investment

Meanwhile, Head of the Central Papua Transportation Office Washington Lumban Gaol remarked that the provincial government would soon extend the length of the runway by 900 meters to follow up on the MoU.

"That way, the runway of the new airport will stretch 2,500 meters in total," he underlined.

He expressed optimism that such a runway length would enable the airport to accommodate Boeing airplanes.

"We will work hard to ensure that the development runs properly as expected. This (expansion) program is a means of Madam Governor to elevate the living standards of the people," he stated.

Related news: President Jokowi inaugurates airports in Papua's Fakfak, Nabire

Translator: Qadri P, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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