JAKARTA, NNC - Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, West Java, officially begins operating on Thursday (5/24/2018), begun with the inaugural landings from Jakarta and Bandung.
"There will be a 'historical landing' flown by Garuda Indonesia," said Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs Building, Tuesday (5/22/2018).
Budi said internationally, on May 24, 2018 Kertajati Airport can already function. Technically, the airport is ready to operate even before that date.
"Today it is ready, but internationally on May 24 it is allowed for flights," he said.
On the same occasion, Director of Operations of Indonesian Air Navigation Service Provider (AirNav Indonesia) Wisnu Darjono confirmed that Kertajati Airport is ready to be operated on May 24, 2018 starting at 0 am.
On the official operational day there will be two flights back and forth between Bandung and Kertajati. In the meantime, Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air will be the airlines that landed at the airport.
"From May 24 it will open its operation. We have published internationally, so on the date of May 24 at 00:00 it is operational," he said, as quoted from Antara.
Kertajati Airport will be the transit embarkation of Hajj pilgrims as the runway has not been able to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft.
Currently, the runway is only 2,500 meters long so it cannot accommodate wide-bodied aircraft such as Boeing 777 commonly used for hajj flight.
The runway length will be expanded to 3,000 meters by July and targeted for completion within six months.
Later Garuda Indonesia will transport pilgrims with Airbus 330 to Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Then, the pilgrims will transfer to a Saudi Airlines plane to fly directly to Saudi Arabia.