REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SILANGIT -- The government will increase flight frequency to the Silangit International Airport in North Sumatra to boost the tourism sector in the region, especially in the popular tourist destination of Lake Toba.
"Some airlines have already operated from the airport, and we will increase the flight frequency," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi noted here on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Silangit International Airport terminal, Friday.
Some airlines, such as Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, and Wings Air, have operated flights to the Silangit airport. Batik Air has planned to operate flights to the airport in the near future.
Sumadi said Lake Toba is on the list of top 10 tourist destinations in Indonesia that will be developed further, thus adequate infrastructure, including an international airport, is needed.
Hence, the minister noted that the government had continued to improve the airport's terminal and runway to accommodate more passengers.
"With increased flights, there will be more tourists visiting Lake Toba," he pointed out.
Meanwhile, President Director of state-run airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II Muhammad Awaluddin said Silangit airport has been developed into an international airport, with support of the Transportation Ministry.
"Earlier, it only served domestic flights, but with the establishment of various facilities, it can now serve international flights," he said.
Silangit Airport, with a capacity to serve 500 thousand passengers per year, will be equipped with Custom, Immigration, and Quarantine facilities; a 2,650-meter-long runway; and PCN capable of accommodating narrow-bodied aircraft Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.
Smart airport features, such as digital technology, free Wi-Fi, electronic display of bus and flight schedules, e-payment, e-bus ticketing, e-kiosk, tourist information booth, self check-in, and several other digital facilities are also available.
PT Angkasa Pura II has developed Silangit as a pioneering smart airport in North Sumatra to support the development of Lake Toba as the country's top tourist destination.
Its digital facility has been operated since Oct 28, with its initial international flight to Singapore served by the national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.