Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has said that he would help accelerate the construction of Lombok International Airport (BIL) to be located at Tanak Awu, Pujut sub district, Central Lombok district.
"Hopefully, the Lombok International Airport could be completed by 2009 and in operation by 2010," Ibu Salim, a spokesman of the NTB administration said here on Sunday.
He said that NTB Governor Zainul Majdi had met Vice President M Jusuf Kalla to discuss about the planned construction of 500-ha international airport in Central Lombok.
According to Salim, Kalla, who had visited Central Lombok in July 2008, promised to discuss again about the airport construction in November 2008 and help provide funds amounting to Rp65 billion from the State Budget for the international airport development.
"In our agreement with the Angkasa Pura I airport management company earlier, NTB has pledged to provide Rp125 billion in funds which will be disbursed in stages, and it has been approved by the NTB provincial legislative council (DPRD)," Salim said.
The international airport could help boost foreign tourists` visits and serve departure of NTB Hajj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, as well as other would-be hajj pilgrims, among others from Bali and East Nusa Tenggara Provinces, he said.