President Widodo Wants Air Force Base Renovated

Diana Mariska
The Indonesian Armed Forces at Halim Perdanakusuma airbase. (Photo: Mas'ud)
The Indonesian Armed Forces at Halim Perdanakusuma airbase. (Photo: Mas'ud) - President Joko Widodo has instructed a renovation to Halim Perdanakusuma airbase and ordered the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) to temporarily move its four squadrons to Soekarno-Hatta and Husein Sastranegara airports.

The Air Force chief of staff Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo said Halim Perdanakusuma, which is also an international airport, will be closed from the start of next year because renovation of the runway will start immediately, as per the President’s request.

“Halim [Perdanakusuma] airport will close from January 1, 2022. This is an order from President Joko Widodo as he felt the runway started getting rough,” Prasetyo told the press in Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta on Wednesday, December 22.

Besides issue with the runway’s surface, the President wanted the place to go through ‘revitalization’ because it’s an old infrastructure, and the surrounding soil has also decreased in quality.

“I’m not an expert in soil, but there has been a decrease due to groundwater. As a result, the runway almost reaches the threshold. We actually learned about this two years ago,” the air marshal explained.

Upon the total renovation, the runway is expected to last for another 20 years.

The renovation will also include airport apron extension for the military and enhancement to VIP building and terminal for the air force.

During the period, Air Squadron 17 for VIP will be based in Soekarno-Hatta airport in Tangerang because it will continue to serve president and vice president. Meanwhile, Air Squadron 2 CN-295, Air Squadron 31, and Air Squadron 021 Technical will have a base in Husein Sastranegara airport in Bandung, West Java.

“I believe the two airports are the best locations to move [the squadrons to] because if they don’t relocate, the renovation won’t take place. Everyone will object [to the idea]; operators will object, too, because the cost will increase,” Prasetyo said.

He also said there have been accidents in the past, and he appreciated the President for giving the matter his attention and for allocating budget for the improvement of the air force base.

Besides Ministry of Transportation, the Indonesian military, Ministry of Defense, and airport operator Angkasa Pura are also involved in the project.

Tag # military # air force # halim perdanakusuma # airbase # soekarnohatta international airport # joko widodo # fadjar prasetyo # air marshal

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