The Indonesian Ministry of Transportation (MOT) has turned down a proposal by the Lion Group and developer PT Maja Raya Indah Semesta (MRIS) to build a new four-runway airport at Lebak near Jakarta, stating the operational feasibility and safety standards of the proposed Lebak International Airport were insufficient.
The two firms announced plans to build a new cargo-oriented facility on a 5,500ha plot of land in Indonesia's Banten Province in November 2014 which, according to the partners, would have helped
reduce logistics costs for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) thus stimulating the local economy.
Government expresses severe safety concerns
Following several revisions to the plan including runway reorientation and the relocation of the main facility, MOT's Director for Airports, Agus Santoso, said in a statement issued last week that the proposal still did not meet minimum safety requirements, because its proximity to the nearby airports of Budiarto, Rumpin, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta and low-cost hub Jakarta Halim, could affect existing commercial air corridors as well as the Indonesian Aviation Institute's (STPI) airspace.
The US$1.2 billion airport project, which apart from the dedicated cargo facilities, had been designed to accommodate wide-body aircraft, including Airbus A380's and up to 100 million passengers a year.
The Lion Group is the parent company of Indonesia's low-cost operator Lion Air and its subsidiary Wings Air, as well as affiliate carriers Malindo Air, Batik Air and Thai Lion Air, which combined operate an extensive network of domestic and international passenger and cargo services in Asia.
Nol van Fenema