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Image: Tol Cipularang West Java. Credit: katadata.com

Based on a study by the World Bank and PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI), the new North Bali airport plan should not go ahead. They have recommended the government to utilize and extend Ngurah Rai International Airport.

Minister of Transport, Budi Karya Sumadi, has said that the North Bali airport construction has been shelved for the moment. “We want to know how the new Bali airport will look, that’s why we are still researching it,” he said to inews.id on Jakarta International Container Terminal, Jakarta, on Sunday.

In regard to this information, previously the Minister of Maritime Coordination, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, had reported to President Joko Widodo, recommending a second runway and more aircraft parking space at the existing airport. And to reduce the amount of vehicles entering Denpasar 30 to 40%, there is a recommendation for the government to create roll on\roll off ships from Banyuwangi port to North Bali.

This latest development has disappointed many Bali citizens who wanted to have two international airports. Moreover, the Bali governor and vice governor have been working on the airport construction plan for over four years and PT Bandara Internasional Bali Utara has already prepared an investment of Rp 27 trillion for the new airport construction.

Meanwhile, Bali tourism businessmen have asked the government to prioritize a Denpasar-Singaraja toll road as an alternative solution to the new airport cancellation. The Head of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives, Nengah Tamba, regretted the cancellation. He said that the new airport construction would have been a solution to the development inequity between north and south Bali. He is also suspicious that there may have been business manipulation behind this cancellation.

Tampa and other Commission III of Bali House of Representative members will meet Budi Karya on March 8 and will discuss the cancellation. “We want an explanation about the airport construction cancellation. We want a solution for the future development of north Bali,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Head of Yasa Putra Sedana Foundation, Dewa Ngakan Rai Budiasa, also said that if the government has cancelled the airport construction, they should now focus on a Denpasar-Singaraja toll road. He said that the proposed toll road is vital to open up north Bali. “It would be great if there was another toll road for tourist access from south to north Bali,” he said to nusabali.com on Sunday.

He continued that the toll road construction will be a quick solution for North Bali economic development. “If Ngurah Rai International Airport was developed, it will be even more crowded. The visiting tourists have asked for access to north Bali, whether it‘s by a new airport or toll road. At this moment they do not want to go to north Bali because the access is poor and it takes a long time to get there. That’s why they stayed in south Bali,” he said.

There was a plan to build six toll roads that was already approved by the national government. The total length of the new toll road, which should have been finished in 2016 and was slated to be 145 kilometers in total, through five districts in Bali, including Buleleng and Gianyar, from Kuta (Badung) until Pekutatan (Jembrana) and Seririt (Buleleng), and a special route from Mengwi (Badung) to Sukawati (Gianyar). The long awaited Kuta to Canggu sunset road was the first part of that plan and one thinks now is almost an impossibility with the rampant development in the area.

Showing 62 comments
  • Claire Southgate
    Reply

    I sincerely hope that there is either a second airport or some major infrastructure planned for the north of Bali so the tourist dollars are spread around the island.

  • Reply

    and last week 2 billion dollar awarded ?

  • Adam Crispin
    Reply

    How exactly are they going to expand Ngurah Rai International Airport? Perhaps follow Lion Air’s revolutionary trial of the water runway a few years ago?

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      underpass runaway…..lol

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      That option is probably under consideration…

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Adam Crispin yeah they all went to the Sydney Aquarium darling harbor to study the glass underwater tunnel…..

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      As long as they use reinforced glass that won’t crack when Agung goes bang.

  • Paolo Bali
    Reply

    does Bali need more tourists, that another airport will bring, or does Bali need to select the tourist quality and decrease the numbers and make the side effects (traffic, rubbish wastage etc. etc.) manageable?

    • Glenn Hepburn
      Reply

      North Bali for sure.

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      Glenn Hepburn Situation is worst than what you believe….. small budget tourist that are flooding sunset road’s hotels dont even go to restaurant at night..they buy food in carrefour and eat it in the hotel rooms. Is North Bali able to sustain the side effects of this kind of invasion???

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      ah no…..the most interesting thing is that they spend millions in the souvenirs shops in the bypass (sukawati market is disappearing) that are selling more than 70% of the souvenirs…..MADE IN CHINA…….M-A-D-E I-N C-H-I-N-A.
      How smart are we in Bali.

    • Glenn Hepburn
      Reply

      Paolo Bali There needs to be proportionate infrastructure in south bali for sure.

    • Glenn Hepburn
      Reply

      But would be very interesting to see North Bali Airport and it’s affects.. Maybe they can start fresh with appropriate town planning (while there is space) in the north after there experience in the South.

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      why should they?? all the land in there is sold to individuals from the south that are only ready to resell speculating. I believe the movie has been shot already….it’s not in the theaters yet…

    • Glenn Hepburn
      Reply

      Paolo Bali because you asked me for my opinion

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Paolo Bali who owns the souvenir shop?

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      ehm….ehm….Herling do you mean one of the biggest that has more than one outlet???

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      the one that the name starts with K and finish with A and has H in the middle?

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Paolo Bali something like that the same owner who push for the stupid idea for a airport in his home town. While having done nothing for his people and island

    • Paolo Bali
      Reply

      No…I dont know who owns them….;-)

  • Adam Crispin
    Reply

    Surely part of the point of the second airport, and the toll road is to make the north more accessible, and spread the tourists out? That sounds like a good idea to me. Increasing the capacity of the existing airport is only going to increase the chaos down here.

    • Paul Humble
      Reply

      Spread the tourists out to where exactly? I lived in Negara for. 12 years so am very familiar with what’s out there well there’s lovina but that would becime very boring to the average tourist by about the second day.
      Yes Menjangan is beautiful when it’s not over polluted with plastic but has a very limited capacity.
      A hand full of 5 starts and lower between Menjangan and Sinaraga once again for the average tourist boring as hell after a day.
      And some monkeys on the side of the road.
      Bottom line is there is not much out there on that side of the island and it’s not about to explode anytime soon.
      Airport has been talked about for years but you didn’t need to be a genius to figure it won’t happen in the next decade.
      Tollway however would have massage advantages to the thousands if busses trucks and other motorists that do the Dempasar to Gilimanuk or vise versa daily. That road is a nightmare

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      Spread the tourists out to what ever develops there I guess. Kuta was a small quiet village too, once.

    • Milena Hudson
      Reply

      Paul Humble thaaaanks Paul, someone here is thinking before saying!

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      And by that comment, Milena Hudson, the assumption is that others, myself included, are not? How strangely presumptuous.

  • Paolo Bali
    Reply

    I believe the priority are the toll roads in the whole island…as the end of the article states.

  • Rudolf Dethu
    Reply

    HAHAHAHAHAHA…

  • Petruk Dollar
    Reply

    Must be an election coming up, This cartoon of the Singaraja 4 lane toll rd has been around longer than the airport one that just got chopped, 3rd location of the airport in 15 years, The land speculators who bought in East Singaraja have just had their big money earner investment crash 80%in a week. Just watch the kick up from Village Pakraman Adat about a flyover their Desa or demolishing several hundred temples to make way for a toll road.

  • Sarah Forbes
    Reply

    It didnt seem very… Practical

  • Glenn Hepburn
    Reply

    Am happy to pay a toll then from Denpasar to Singaraja

  • Paolo Bali
    Reply

    yeah!!

  • Jonathan Lip
    Reply

    There goes those so called “prime land” near the “new airport” you told me to “be smary and seize the opportunity” early….

  • Mina
    Reply

    This toll road project was the idea of Pak Soharto it first came out in 1995. Having spend more than 20years on the West Coast of Bali. We all have hoped for a toll road from Gilimanuk to Denpasar. It now seems it will never happen. Maybe it is better this way. All the tourists in the South and the rest of the island tp be the real Bali..

  • Herling Untu W
    Reply

    Bali needs toll road all over the place dps- sing dps- gilimanuk. Kintamani dps
    Tulamben – dps
    It will make all local roads quiet again for tourism

  • Benjamin James Smith
    Reply

    Yes a north bali airport is economically unviable so it will never get off the ground. The best alternative for north bali is to attract tourists through banyuwangi for the time being until a decent road is built south to north

    • Glenn Hepburn
      Reply

      Which feasibility study are you referring too?

    • Benjamin James Smith
      Reply

      I didn’t refer to any study however after 10 or more years of talk of a north bali airport there has been no investment. No airline is going to fly to North Bali as there is nothing there and the time to get to Ngurah Rai would be way too long for connections. Any airlines would need to be given big discounts on landing fees to attract them which means the airport would make no money. How do you think the airport would make money? The only way is if the government funds it and don’t mind losing money, I doubt they will do that having just invested in Banyuwangi and with extra capacity in Lombok

  • Robin Earth-advocate
    Reply

    Thank God! I don’t want them to screw up the North too!

  • Robin Earth-advocate
    Reply

    Governor Pastika already made money on this deal anyway!

  • Robin Earth-advocate
    Reply

    They fucked up when they did continue the Sunset road through Oberoi, now it and on horrible wall to wall business, little Nature, over congested, polluted, traffic jams!! But south to north not needed! Just another quick way to fuck up the whole coastal areas like Kuta and such!

  • Robin Earth-advocate
    Reply

    Better to do something about Plastic which is systematically killing all of us!

  • Mark Talley
    Reply

    There’s one born every minute, and then they go to Bali…

  • Grima Kerry
    Reply

  • Reply

    Only toll road that can be build would be on top of the current by pass… no other way to get land to build….

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Like singapore they build a tunnel under the whole city with exit and entrance. We need one from airport all the way to tohpatih and gatsu barat. Bali needs to be manage like a metropolitan and not like a village anymore.

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Great idea, but could you imagine that ever happening after seeing what’s going on at the airport underpass. I’ve heard from Badung officials they want to start pushing sunset road thru oberoi in 2020. Hope it’s not thru our places tho!

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Stuart Beat Sorry to hear about your place but the sunset was plan and fix all the way to tanah lot and then soka. The land was bought by dprd and government people and been asking ridiculouse prices to sale to government. Then too be able to build they have been issuing imb sementara or temporali building permits totally ridicouluse. We all hope that the sunset will happen as Canggu traffic is unbearable.

  • Ian Johansson
    Reply

    Why? If rumors are true, it was bought already many years ago at bottom prices by people close to the Bali and Jakarta governments.

  • Ian Johansson
    Reply

    There’s an underlying problem here: who decides what in Bali? After Suharto, a lot of power was redistributed to regional and local governments.
    Unfortunately, this benevolent move opened up for massive corruption and an inability to do any project that go against petty interests.
    So Bali is both unable and unwilling to fix it’s own infrastructure problems.
    My fear is that Jakarta is waiting for a complete collapse before taking control and turn this beautiful island into Bad Taste Disneyland.
    What the Muslim armies did not manage for 600 years will be done by Chinese tourists in flip flops and Aussies in board shorts!!

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      The unability to do anything comes from lack of education and profesionalism in the field. 45 years ago before tv was introduce in Bali the locals did not even know the existence of the west they use to call me orang jawa and then later orang jawa prancis. Now to manage a metropol with a village system does not work. People in the west go to uni and study infrastructure management courses. Traffic is monitord to know road capicities limits etc. Its a whole science that not even Jakarta is applying. The government needs to invite Singaporian urban experts to design a infrastructur plan for the whole island period.

    • Ian Johansson
      Reply

      Herling Untu W I agree, but in order to fix a problem, one needs to have a mandate to do so, be able to identify the problem and have the resources to do so. All these things are missing in Bali and many other places.
      A couple of years ago I sat next to a couple of city planners from the Office in Denpasar on a Garuda flight back from Jakarta. From that conversation I could clearly understand the challenges that we face here.
      I love Bali, am locally married and generally have a lot of patience with Indonesians. The history of these islands is brutal and only with Sukarno and perhaps Jokowi did the common man get a ruler that cared a bit for them.
      Like you describe Untu, The Balinese have experienced an unprecedented rise in living standards over the last few years.
      I find it only natural that there is little concern about the impact and problems as this is the first generation of Balinese that have known of the concept disposable income.
      We can only hope that the awareness of the risk of complete cultural and environmental destruction follows before it’s too late.
      The dynamic resembles that of the destruction of large parts of the Mediterranean in the 50’s and 60’s.
      But this time around it’s tourism on steroids, rampant in it’s consumption and ignorant abuse.
      So I agree with Paolo Bali: Do Bali really need a million Chinese and Australian budget tourists?

    • Rick Yates
      Reply

      Ian Johansson If only it was just a million . the central Gov tourism minister is promoting Quantity over Quality and does not seem to know the difference. In october it is reported 15000 + world bankers are attending some IMF conference in Bali.The current underpass airport shambles is reported to be completed by Sept . If not imagine how stupid Indonesia and Bali will look on the world stage.

  • Mina
    Reply

    This morning on a 11km stretch between Balian Beach and the village of Bajera, I compted 24 container trucks, 18 trotons (Twice as big as truck) 5 huge motorbike carriers, I didn’t look at normal trucks, cars and thousands of scooters going to work. My point is container are bound for Benoît Harbour. A lots of the trucks are going to Lombok, Sumba, Sumbawa, Timor. Can à solution be found about that. The West Coast road is the busiest road in Bali but the government is thinking about a toll road to Singaraja. Maybe because they have to drive down there everyday? I remember the days when driving Gilimanuk Denpasar you would have to stop so many times for the dogs sleeping on the road! The Question is what’s the future? I can tell you :A huge mess!

    • Paul Humble
      Reply

      I have driven to Negara msny hundreds of times since 2000
      It’s absolutely a horrible drive

  • Nicola Scaramuzzino
    Reply

    Much smarter to expand the airport of Banyuwangi and potentiate the infrastructure between Bali and Java.
    Bali need for a second airport (or call it “exit way”) was made clear by Agung ashes few months ago…

    • Herling Untu W
      Reply

      Exactly and have fast ferries operating from benoa harbor to get to lombok airport incase winds blows towards banyuwangi

    • Paul Humble
      Reply

      Bunuwangi Airport has been so popular that they no longer have direct flights from Bali need to fly Via Surabaya or other

    • Benjamin James Smith
      Reply

      Exactly its easier to go north bali from there and the government have just expanded it

    • Stuart Beat
      Reply

      Phewww Banyuwangi is such a tourism hot spot. I particularly love the ferry crossing

    • Benjamin James Smith
      Reply

      And you enjoy the car ride from south to north? Not to mention landing in the airport in the sea that doesnt exist

    • Adam Crispin
      Reply

      Stuart Beat I find waiting for the ferry even more enjoyable.

  • Monika Szabuniewicz
    Reply

    Ehmm…And others recently to inflated prices

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