The brand new Lombok International Airport, capable of receiving wide-bodied aircraft like Airbus 330 and Boeing 767, is to be inaugurated by Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono on October 1, said Governor of West Nusatenggara, M. Zainul Majdi, as reported to Antara.
Located in Central Lombok, some 40 km south of the present Mataram Selaparang Airport, the Lombok International Airport will have a runway of 2,750 meters x 40 meters and apron to accommodate 10 Airbus 330 aircraft, explained Operational and Technical Director of state-owned Airport Management company, PT Angkasa Pura-I, Haryoso Catur Prayitno, in Central Lombok recently.
The airport is built to handle 3 million passengers a year. Airport simulations will be conducted on September 5-8, 2011.
Initially planned to be operational by July 2011, the airport opening was delayed due to the expansion of the airport terminal area from 14,000 square meters to 21,000 square meters.
The island of Lombok together with Sumbawa – immediate neighbors to the fabled island of Bali – are the major islands that comprise the province of West Nusatenggara. Lombok has grown in popularity for its pristine beaches at Kuta and Senggigi and wonderful underwater life at the Gili islands. Mt. Rinjani, the third highest mountain in Indonesia, is also a favorite area for trekkers.
Next year, West Nusatenggara plans to hold the Visit Lombok-Sumbawa Year 2012. With the operation of the new airport, Lombok hopes to welcome 1 million direct international tourist arrivals within the next few years.