Less than a year since the proposed North Bali Airport was removed from the list of National Strategic Projects, the conversation about the development of a second international airport on the island is back on the table.
Officials from the Regional Representative Council (DPD) met with community leaders in Kubudindingan Village in Buleleng Regency, North Bali to discuss the potential of the North Bali Airport.
The project has been in speculation for years and was listed as part of the Central Government’s list of National Strategic Projects until July last year.
As part of an annual review of National Strategic Projects, Indonesian President Joko Widodo scrapped plans to build the airport after insufficient progress was made in land acquisition.
Speaking to community stakeholders and local media, the Speaker of the DPD, LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti, shared his gratitude for the ongoing interest in the development of a second international airport in Bali.
@kyu00055 Finally hello bali 😍🛬 #bali #ngurahraiinternationalairport #citlink #holiday ♬ Landing di Bali – Faizal Maulana
Mattalitti’s visit to Buleleng came as a follow-up to a coordination meeting that was recently held between the management teams at PT Airport International Bali Utara and the Ministry of Transportation.
Mattalitti shared his beliefs that the economic development of Bali cannot be concentrated in regencies like Badung.
This is an opinion shared by many leaders in Bali who believe that development should be prioritized in areas outside of Badung Regency, away from the region’s busy tourism resorts like Kuta, Seminyak, Uluwatu, Canggu, Nusa Dua, and Legian.
Mattalitti explained, “When we received news regarding the delays in the plan to build an international airport in North Bali, we immediately held a coordination meeting to bring together the revenant parties.”
“Because for us, this development plan is not a lighthouse project at all. Instead, it is a level for the economy in Buleleng Regency in particular and the North Bali region in general.”
Mattalitti assured that any development of a second international airport in Bali would not impact existing public facilities, destroy farmland or protected habitats and steer clear of sacred sites and landscapes.
So what benefit would a second international airport bring to tourists heading to Bali?
@faizalmaulana_22 Salah satu tempat terindah saat landing 😍🛬 #Bali ♬ original sound – Ian Asher
Investment In Up-And-Coming Destinations
A new international airport in North Bali would undoubtedly bring more investment into the area. Business leaders and tourism stakeholders are already eyeing regencies like Buleleng and Bangli to be the next big resort destinations in Bali.
New investment in the tourism sector in North Bali would bring more innovation into the area, whether this be more luxury hotels or unique and memorable tourism experiences that only North Bali can offer.
More Effective Transportation Routes
The issue of traffic congestion in Bali is a widely known fact. Arguably the creation of a second international airport in North Bali would help reduce some of the traffic on the roads in the south of the island.
Tourists wishing to explore the north of the island, both as it is now and in light of the presumed tourism development triggered by the construction of the airport, would fly directly into Buleleng Regency rather than I Gusti Ngurah Rai International.
Increased Access To Bali For Travelers
A second international airport in Bali would increase flight availability to the Island of the Gods. In theory, the more flight availability there is, the easier and more affordable flights become.
North Bali Airport would also likely take on a reasonable amount of domestic flight routes too, connecting tourists to other exciting destinations across Indonesia.
Will Plans Really Go Ahead?
That’s hard to say. The conversation is back on the table, but the development is far from back on the list of National Strategic Projects.
No land has been formally acquired, and there is a heap of formalities that would have to be undertaken before any construction could start.
Those in support of the project are as keen as ever to press forward, so watch this space.
But as Bali’s Governor Wayan Koster looks to curb the negative impacts of mass tourism on the island, it seems like a hard sell.
For now, I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, will continue to afford tourists a warm and friendly welcome.
Airport officials are working to continually improve traveler experience at the airport, and the terminals are set to welcome over 4.5 million international arrivals in 2023.
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