Indonesia Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi, who also served as the former President of Jakarta airport, feels this terminal was built to change the image of the capital, Jakarta. Sumadi was referring to the opening today of terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Jakarta.
The new terminal that will allow the overcrowded aviation hub to handle tens of millions more passengers a year.
Air passenger numbers are soaring in Indonesia, the world’s biggest archipelago nation and Southeast Asia’s top economy, as a growing middle class increasingly chooses to fly but ageing infrastructure is struggling to keep up.
The US$380 million (RM1.5 billion) terminal, a vast, futuristic-looking structure, will be able to handle about 25 million passengers a year once fully operational by March next year.
The other three terminals at the country’s busiest airport are currently handling about 60 million passengers a year, way over their capacity.
The first flights, domestic services by flag carrier Garuda, took off early today. The terminal will start off handling only domestic Garuda flights before later running international services.
The terminal will eventually be connected to central Jakarta, about 30 km (18 miles) away, by a rail link.