PURBALINGGA, NNC - The development of General Soedirman Airport in Purbalingga Regency, Central Java, officially started. The development of the airport which was previously named Wirasaba Airbase is expected to meet the needs of surrounding communities for air transportation services that are already very urgent.
"In southern and western part of Central Java, there is no adequate airport for the community. Therefore, today it has been started the construction of General Soedirman Airport in Purbalingga Regency covering 115 hectares," said the President Joko Widodo during his visit to Central Java, Monday (4/23/2018).
In the first phase of development, General Soedirman Airport will be equipped with a runway along the 1,600 meters, the current runway is still a grass across 850 meters. Runway length will be extended in the second phase up to 2,500 meters together with other supporting facilities.
"With a terminal of 3,000 square meters it will be able to accommodate approximately 300 thousand passengers a year. We expect the airport will be completed by the end of 2019, God willing," said the Head of State.
When it operates later, not only can the airport facilitates the needs of the people in Purbalingga Regency, but also the people in the surrounding areas including Banjarnegara, Kebumen, Banyumas, Pemalang, Brebes, Tegal, Tegal City, and Wonosobo.
"We expect there will also appear new economic growth points in Purbalingga and surrounding areas," he added.
To note, there are currently a number of investments and rapidly growing industries in Purbalingga. One of them is the false eyelash industry which is the second largest in the world. The industry is able to absorb approximately 60 thousand local workers.
President Joko Widodo hopes that with the airport capable of supporting the mobility of people and goods it will further enhance the industry in the region.
"If the airport exists, such investments can be bigger, expandable. We expect not only eyelashes, investments in other fields will also grow rapidly," he said.