After delay, Jakarta's Terminal 3 to open next week

The opening of Terminal 3 (left) of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has been delayed for nearly two months over blind spots at some of its aprons as well as power supply issues.
The opening of Terminal 3 (left) of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has been delayed for nearly two months over blind spots at some of its aprons as well as power supply issues.ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD

It starts operations next Tuesday; issues raised by officials tackled

A new terminal at Indonesia's main international airport will finally open next Tuesday, after nearly two months of delay over blind spots at some of its aprons as well as power supply issues.

The Transportation Ministry has approved the first phase of operations at Terminal 3 of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, with 252 domestic flights involving national airline Garuda on Aug 9, said Mr Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting president director of airport operator Angkasa Pura II, yesterday. The facility, costing nearly 5 trillion rupiah ($509 million), will be fully operational from March next year, he added.

When fully operational, it will be able to handle some 25 million passengers a year, easing overcapacity at the other two terminals, which when combined can accommodate 18 million passengers. This figure is still far below the 60 million passengers passing through the international airport annually, Mr Djoko said.

Former transportation minister Ignasius Jonan was concerned about ground safety after a visit to the terminal in June and ordered improvements. Some of the problems raised by ministry officials, such as back-up power supply which needed to work better and an impaired view from the air traffic control tower to some aprons, have been addressed and passenger safety is "guaranteed", airport and flight navigation officials said yesterday.

A subtower has since been built to "visually" monitor the movement of individual aircraft, and relay that information to the main tower, officials said. Other issues, such as incomplete signage, cleanliness and faulty toilets, are being rectified, Mr Djoko said.

Covering 422,804 sq m, the new terminal is slightly larger than Changi Airport's Terminal 3. Officials had earlier said it would be able to rival Changi as well as Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and lure international passengers to choose Jakarta as a transit point.

The plan to call it Terminal 3 Ultimate has also been scrapped. It will simply be called Terminal 3.

Mr Djoko said the terminal boasts modern facilities and technology comparable to airports in the region, like an automated baggage handling system, face-detection security system and skytrains to shuttle people between terminals. "In terms of facilities and security, we are equal, and we hope better," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline 'Jakarta's new airport terminal to open after delay'. Print Edition | Subscribe