Wed, 03 Aug 1994

Planes carrying APEC leaders may use Halim airport

JAKARTA (JP): The planes carrying the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders to the summit here in November will likely land at the Halim Perdanakusumah air base in East Jakarta.

Jakarta Military Commander Maj. Gen. A.M. Hendropriyono inspected the military air base yesterday to consider the possibility of it being used as the airport for the APEC leaders.

"We are checking the base's readiness for the APEC summit," Hendro said.

The commander of the Halim air base, First Marshal Iskak Karmanto, told reporters that the base is ready to receive the leaders.

"Basically, we are ready to receive them and to secure their planes," he said, adding that the base was used successfully for the 10th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in 1992.

He said that the base can accommodate 22 wide-bodied airplanes such as Hercules and Boeing 737.

Iskak said that the base does not need a major face lift but does require some minor repairs.

APEC members include the six members of the Association of South East Asian Nations -- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -- along with the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Mexico.

The APEC summit is scheduled to be held at the Bogor palace, a 249 year old palace built by the Dutch formerly called "Buitenzorg". It is located in the scenic town of Bogor, 60 kilometers south of the city.

Although the summit is scheduled to be held in Bogor, the heads of the APEC states will stay at the Jakarta Hilton International Hotel in Central Jakarta.

Earlier, on Saturday, members of the Indonesian elite Kopassus commando troop held a training exercise at the Hilton after the government appointed it the official hotel for the meeting.

The commandos dropped onto the hotel's roof by helicopter, scaled down the building's walls, crashed through windows and opened fire with blanks in a 15 minute exercise.

To ensure security and stability in the city during the summit, the Jakarta military command has pledged that it will increase the scope of the ongoing "Operation Cleansing".

The anti-crime drive, which is code-named "Operation Cleansing", was launched by the city chapter of the Agency for the Coordination of Support for the Development of National Stability and includes personnel from the Army, the police, the Marine Corps and the Air Force as well as officials from Jakarta, Tangerang and Bekasi.

Hendropryono also said that the current 16,700 security officers is bellow par and that he will triple their strength. (03)