Apprehension has been something quite usual among North Sumatra people in waiting for the Kuala Namu International Airport Development. An old song from 1992, finally got kick-started in 2005 after a disastrous plane crash waking up all the stakeholders in Indonesia.
Me included, people are now very anxious to see whether the promise made 3 years ago that March 2013 is set to be the definitive date for launching the new North Sumatra Airport – projected as the 2nd biggest airport in Indonesia – located in Kuala Namu, Deli Serdang District, North Sumatra. With 3750 m runway (the 2nd longest in Indonesia after Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, but perhaps the longest among the main busy airports in Indonesia), the airport is projected to cover many international flights as well as domestic flights, with target passenger in its first years are around 8-10 million annually.
I would like to share some concerned facts from my point of view which could drag some indicators about how the March 2013 plan is ongoing now and next :
1. THe airport project stage itself, as have been watched by Minister of BUMN and Menko Perekonomian, has surpassed 90% and is projected to be finished at early February 2013. Then the trial flights will be commenced at February 2013, so in March the airport can start operating
2. The Railway to Kuala Namu Airport has been set up, so do the trains. As per PT.KAI plan, they will use PT.KAI diesel trains for this year while perhaps towards the end of 2013 PT.KAI can use the special trains built and modified specifically to serve Kuala Namu customers.
1. The feasible roads have not been existed yet. Incredible, with 2 months remaining the government still not sure whether the artery road will be there to support the transportation from/to Kuala Namu International Airport.
2. The motorways to Kuala Namu (in shape of interchange from Tanjung Morawa – Tebing Tinggi motorway) have just been put into tender this year, with a projected plan that the motorway construction will be finished at late 2015/2016 (some news reported the stage 1 Tanjung MOrawa – Kuala Namu International Airport will be escalated so it could finish at late 2014)
As I have predicted, the targeted schedule is delayed. As it stands, the confirmation from the Angkasa Pura Corporate and Ministry of Transportation, the Kuala Namu International Airport (KNIA) is projected to have soft opening at 25th July of 2013. The movement will be done completely, means after that date there will be no flights operating in Polonia International Airport anymore.
Some resources from local newspapers also mentioned that the airport will be opened officially around September/October 2013, which of course the honor to inaugurate KNIA is designated to the hands of President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Exact date for grand opening of course will subject to the agenda and time allocation in the President schedule.