President Jokowi Asks Minister to Extend Newly-Inaugurated Wiriadinata Airports Runway
President Joko Jokowi Widodo during his working visit to Tasikmalaya, West Java, on Saturday (10/6), witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Use of Wiriadinata Air Force Base as a Public Airport.
The signing of MoU between the Indonesian Air Force, Ministry of Transportation, and Regional Government of Tasikmalaya which covers the Optimization of Wiriadinata Air Force Base as a public airport was conducted by Air Force Commander Rear Marshal Imam Baidirus, Director General for Air Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation Agus Santoso, and Tasikmalaya Mayor Budi Budiman.
The signing is the Presidents fast response to follow up the request made by Tasikmalaya Mayor Budi Budiman 12 years ago who asked that the Wiriadinata Air Force Base be used for public or commercial flights. It has not been implemented yet, President Jokowi said as quoting the request made by Mayor Budi Budiman. The President then asked the related parties to solve this issue in two weeks. Not months, but week, two weeks. And it turned out that it only takes two days to finish, the President said.
President Jokowi is optimistic that the Airport will boost economic and business development in Tasikmalaya and its surroundings. The President also believes that in six months, Wiriadinata Airport will be full of passengers.
In the meantime, in order to maximize the role of the Airport to the economy of Tasikmalaya and its surroundings, President Jokowi instructed Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi to extend the runway.
President Jokowi also asserted that he would directly monitor the progress of the runway by the end of 2017. Currently, the runways length is 1,200 meters. It should be extended to 1,600 meters in this year, the President said.
For the record, this is not the first time for President Jokowi to demand the acceleration of airport development. The same situation also happened several years ago in Silangit Airforce, Silangit, North Tapanuli, North Sumatra Province. The long-abandoned Airport was revived after President Jokowi instructed Indonesian national airline Garuda Indonesia to open regular flight to the region. Now, all airlines operate there, the President added.
However, President Jokowi also reminded that all governance requirements and procedure should be fulfilled. Asset transfer mechanism must also be implemented accordance with the prevailing laws and regulations, the President said.
This problem, the President firmly said, must be solved together by all ministries and state institutions which have the competencies in handling the issue of state assets, such as Ministry of Finance. Do not set aside matters relating with the procedures, President Jokowi said.
Not only air transportation, land transportation also becomes the Presidents concern, including the railway. The Government will assess the potential measures to develop rail transport. I think if we work continuously and in parallel on air and land transportation, In Syaa Allah the economy will improve, particularly those in this region, the President added.
Attending the event were Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, Presidential Chief of Staff Teten Masduki, Deputy Governor of West Java Deddy Mizwar, and Mayor of Tasikmalaya Budi Budiman. (SM/RAH/FID/JAY/ES) (RA/EP/YM/Naster)