Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Inauguration of Toraja Airport in Tana Toraja Regency and Pantar Airport in Alor Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday 18 March 2021, in Tana Toraja Regency, South Sulawesi Province
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May Peace Be Upon Us All,
Greetings of Virtue.
Honorable Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet;
Honorable Minister of Transportation, Minister of State Secretariat, and Minister of Health,
Honorable Speaker and Members of the House Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia,
Honorable Speaker and Members of the Regional Representatives Council of the Republic of Indonesia,
Honorable Acting Governor of South Sulawesi Province, Regent of Tana Toraja Regency, and other Regents in South Sulawesi,
Honorable Governor of East Nusa Tenggara Province and other Regents in East Nusa Tenggara,
Honorable Members of the Regional Leaders Communication Forum of South Sulawesi Province and East Nusa Tenggara Province,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Almost every six months I asked Minister of Transportation, “When will Tana Toraja airport be finished? How come it is not finished yet?”
Finally, today we can inaugurate this airport and it will be operational. We have to be grateful, alhamdulillah.
I asked Minister of Transportation, “How much budget had been allocated for this airport?” “It was Rp800 billion. Because we had to cut three hills.” he replied. Three hills had been cut. There are six million cubic meters of soil that must be removed from there. The number is… This airport is very unique, it cuts hills, three hills so that the runway can be built. The runway is 2.000 meters long.
We know that people here usually take nine hours to Makassar via land routes. Earlier, Governor told me that it took nine hours. I flew with an ATR plane and it only took 50 minutes. What does it mean? Mobility of person and goods will be faster.
We all hope that the opening of Tana Toraja airport will lead to better connectivity. I also believe that tourism sector here will be highly developed. People from Makassar, either Bali or Jakarta or Bandung, can directly visit here to enjoy the land above clouds Lolai, ancient village Kete Kesu, and also agro-tourism destination Pango-Pango.
I have been here once but I have not seen them yet. I am not sure, if I could visit there or not.
Secondly, today we will also inaugurate Pantar airport in Alor regency, East Nusa Tenggara province. This airport has been built since 2014 and has been completed. We will operate it.
This airport is equipped with a terminal that can accommodate 35.000 passengers annually. This is also a vital airport, so if travel via sea were impossible due to less friendly weather, we could use this airport.
And that concludes my statement on this auspicious occasion.
It is my hope that these two airports can be effectively used to increase regional economic growth, create more jobs, and trigger, build brand new centers of economic growth.
By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, this morning I officially inaugurate Toraja airport in Tana Toraja regency in South Sulawesi province and Pantar airport in Alor regency in East Nusa Tenggara province.
I thank you.
Wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (AP/MEP)