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New airport set to welcome travelers to Lake Toba in September

Silangit Airport will be able to serve larger planes such as Boeing 737-800 when opened.

Indonesia has confirmed that construction of Silangit Airport in North Sumatra comprising a runway extension and new terminal will be completed by September 15 this year.

After the enhancement, the runway – previously 2,200 metres and 30 metres in width – will be 2,60 metres and 45 metres in width, allowing larger planes such as Boeing 737-800 and Airbus 320 to land, said state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II’s president director Muhammad Awaluddin.

Currently, the airport serves two airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Sriwijaya, and soon, Lion Air.

Garuda Indonesia is the national airline of Indonesia. Named after the holy bird Garuda of Hinduism from the national emblem of Indonesia, the airline is headquartered at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, near Jakarta.

After the expansion, Silangit Airport’s passenger capacity is expected to reach 500,000 people a year by 2019, Awaluddin said. In the first semester of 2017, passenger arrivals reached 124,000, a 400 per cent growth in comparison to the same period last year that had 31,000.

This number is predicted to rise to 250,000-300,000 by end of year, he said, as the airport aims to attract visitors mainly from Singapore Changi Airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Lake Toba (Danau Toba) is the largest volcanic lake in the world and is in SumatraIndonesia

According to Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, the ministry has also shelved out 20 trillion rupiahs (US$2.25 billion) to develop Lake Toba as a tourist destination with 10 trillion budgeted for infrastructure such as toll road and road access to Silangit Airport.