Some domestic commercial airlines start operating from Jakarta's Halim Airport
- POSTED: 10 Jan 2014 20:30
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In an effort to try and tackle Jakarta's overwhelming air traffic, several new domestic commercial flights started operating from an alternative airport in the city's east on Friday.
JAKARTA: In an effort to try and tackle Jakarta's overwhelming air traffic, several new domestic commercial flights started operating from an alternative airport in the city's east on Friday.
Jakarta's main gateway, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, is serving three times its capacity, but there are still concerns this move won't reduce delays.
Halim Airport, which used to be the country's main gateway until Soekarno-Hatta opened in 1985, belongs to the Air Force and is the base of dozens of airlines offering chartered flights.
Four airlines have agreed to fly out from Halim, including Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, AirAsia and Batik Air.
The airport will serve 80 flights per day and will be open until 9pm.
Yet, there are concerns that the move to Halim Airport won't reduce flight delays that often occur with domestic flights.
Chappy Hakim, an aviation consultant, said: "Halim has only one runway without a taxiway. The apron to park the aircraft is very narrow. Halim also has two training and test flight areas. If the Air Force carries out training at that area and is using the only runway for touch and go training, it is very dangerous for commercial flights to join."
Halim Airport remains an airport for the military and visiting state leaders, so incoming and outgoing flights can be disrupted at anytime.
The airport currently has one access road leading from Cawang intersection, one of Jakarta's busiest roads, raising concerns of heavier congestion.
The airport's management is in talks with the Jakarta administration to better manage traffic.
In order to encourage passengers to use public transport, taxis and Damri buses that link to bus terminals within the city are also available.