Indonesia Plans to Reduce Number of International Airports, Why?


Indonesia is making a surprising move by planning to cut down the number of international airports across the country. This decision, expected to be finalized and announced within this year, aims to streamline airport services for better efficiency.

Adita Irawati, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub), clarified that this reduction is part of the government’s strategy to enhance airport operations and services. It’s also a response to the current situation post-Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan involves a significant reduction of 32 international airports from the existing total. Adita emphasized that this streamlining process aims to prevent redundancy among airports, ultimately improving service quality.

“After the reduction (of Indonesia international airports), it is expected that there will be no redundancy between one airport and another, so the services will also be of higher quality,” said Adita when confirmed, quoted on Sunday (24/3/2024).

While the exact airports retaining their international status are still under discussion, Adita assured that the announcement would be made soon. The government is carefully evaluating which airports will continue to serve international flights.

The discussion about reducing the number of international airports is not new. Back on February 2, 2023, Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Erick Thohir revealed this plan during a meeting addressing the tourism sector, held in collaboration with President Joko Widodo.

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In that meeting, it was agreed that only about 14 to 15 airports would remain designated for international flights, serving as the primary entry points for international travelers. The goal is to concentrate resources and efforts to enhance services at these key airports.

“Yesterday we had a meeting about the tourism industry and how it affects economic growth. There, Mr. Minister of Transportation [Budi Karya Sumadi] agreed that we would open only 14-15 international airports,” said Erick at that time.

Erick did not specify the exact airports that would retain their international status at that time. However, he mentioned that other airports would be limited to serving international flights for Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

This strategic move aligns with the government’s broader agenda to revitalize domestic tourism and boost economic growth. With a focus on domestic travelers, Indonesia aims to capitalize on its rich tourism potential and attract more visitors from within the country.

By optimizing airport operations and improving service quality, Indonesia seeks to enhance the overall travel experience for both domestic and international travelers alike.