The government expects the newly renovated Rembele Airport in Aceh to help bolster the mobility of people and products as it will shorten for many the journey from Aceh to Medan in the neighboring province of North Sumatra, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Wednesday.
Jokowi inaugurated the renovated airport on Wednesday morning, expecting that from now on tourist arrivals to the province would also increase.
The airport in Bener Meriah will also help locals travel from the western part of Aceh to Medan, which only takes about 45 minutes by plane, compared to 12 hours by land previously, Jokowi said at the inauguration event at the airport.
Indonesia is in the middle of a global competition that calls for speed in economic activity, Jokowi said. “Thus, only countries that speed up their development can win the competition.”
“I want our country to win the competition, and our cities and districts to win the competition,” the President said in a press statement.
Connectivity among cities throughout the country, from Sabang in Aceh to Merauke in Papua, will be the driver of Indonesia’s development. XXXsounds like a quoteXXX
Jokowi expects that people from Rembele will soon be able to fly directly to Wamena in Papua, on the other side of the country.
“From Aceh to Raja Ampat,” Jokowi said, citing Papua’s most prominent tourist destination.
Rembele Airport will not only be beneficial for local people, it will also support travelers coming from neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia.
Jokowi called for local administrations to boost tourism promotion by cooperating with other provinces and the Tourism Ministry.
Well-managed facilities and destinations will be useless without promotions, he said.
The renovation of the airport included a runway extension that allows Boeing 737 airplanes to land. Previously the airport could only accommodate small aircraft like Fokker 50s or CN 235s.
Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan added that Rembele Airport, located in a mountainous area, would also form a base airport for disaster situations.