Mon, 19 Sep 2011

Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - Lombok International Airport (BIL) in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) will become operational on October 1, 2011 despite various shortcomings, an official has said.

"Admittedly there are still some shortcomings but all the basic requirements and conditions for it to function have been met so that the airport can start operating on October 1, 2011," West Nusa Tenggara Information, Communication, and Transportation office chief Ridwan Syah said here on Thursday.

He said there was not sufficient reason to continue delaying the operation of Lombok International Airport because various airport-related compulsory aspects had been met.

According to him, a number of related ministers, including Coordinating Minister for Economy Hatta Rajasa, had voiced the need for the immediate operation of the airport.

Ridwan said even Vice President Boediono had asked that the airport be operated on October 1 and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had also expressed readiness to dedicate the international aerodrome in Lombok on October 3, 2011.

"Related ministers and even the president and vice president have supported the operation of the airport and that there is no doubt we can do so," Ridwan said.

He added that certain parties in West Nusa Tenggara still doubted that the airport could be operated on October 1 because of several shortcomings.

They doubted the operation of the airport on October 1, because several supporting infrastructures had yet to be completed, and supporting armada such as airport buses from Transportation Ministry had yet to arrive in Mataram.

"But in reality there is nothing to be doubted, and therefore we want all parties to be optimistic that BIL will be operated on October 1 and the shortcomings can be overcome in two-week time," Ridwan said.