New Medan Airport to Open July 25 Without Access Road

By ID/Inneke Lady on 09:39 am Jul 11, 2013
Category News
An undated picture made available on January 31, 2013 shows a now-defunct Batavia Air aircraft sitting on the tarmac at Polonia airport in Medan, North Sumatra. Polonia airport will cease operations starting on July 25 to make way for a new airport. (EPA Photo/Dedi Sahputra)

A now-defunct Batavia Air aircraft sits on the tarmac at Polonia airport in Medan, North Sumatra. Polonia airport will cease operations starting on July 25 to make way for a new airport. (EPA Photo/Dedi Sahputra)

Medan’s Polonia International Airport will be officially closed on July 25 to make way for the newly-constructed Kualanamu International Airport, despite the fact that the highway to the new airport remains unbuilt.

“On July 25, all operations will be moved to Kualanamu,” Herry Bakti Singayuda, the director general of air transport at the Ministry of Transportation, said on Wednesday. “July 24 flights scheduled for before midnight will still fly out of Polonia airport, but after midnight, planes will begin landing in Kualanamu.”

Garuda Indonesia will be the first airline to land at the new airport, with a flight scheduled to touch down at 12:30 a.m. on July 25.

Located about 45 kilometers from the North Sumatran capital and spanning 1,376 hectares, Kualanamu, which will be run by state-owned operator Angkasa Pura II, will replace Polonia Airport.

Armand Effendi Pohan, the head of Bina Marga, which oversees the management of roads and toll roads for the Ministry of Public Works, said that 4,706 square meters of highway to the airport has not yet been acquired.

Transportation Minister Evert Erens Mangindaan noted, however, that the airport is the only one in Indonesia that is reachable by train.

“We are grateful that Kualanamu is accessible via train,” he said as quoted by Indonesian economic news portal last week. reported that Public Works Deputy Minister Hermanto Dardak said the three main roads to Kualanamu will be completed by September, though the land acquisition for the toll road serving Medan to Kualanamu is only 65 percent complete and expected to be finished by 2014.

Kualanamu is forecast to service 8 million passengers per year, which would make it the second largest airport in the country behind Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.

Meanwhile, Angkasa Pura II has not yet decided how much the airport’s passenger service charge will cost.

Kualanamu Airport general manager Tengku Said Ridwan said that the fee will soon be discussed with the Indonesian Consumer Foundation (YLKI), though he noted that it will be greater than Polonia’s Rp 40,000 ($4) service charge.

“Kualanamu is totally different than Polonia. Its capacity is greater, and it is four times bigger. The charge will be more than Rp 60,000,” he said.

Tengku said that airports in neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia have higher passenger fees compared to Indonesia.


  • Roland

    Apart of the rather ridiculous raise of airport charge (just because it’s larger, new, can be reached by train????) I don’t understand this “4,706 square meters of highway to the airport has not yet been acquired.”. This is less than half an hectare – is there someone who owns this land not willing to sell it for the price offered (I mean this would be just about 50 x 100 metres) or is this rather a a typo and it’s meant to be a bit more than 4.5 kilometres.(not square metres) have not YET been acquired).

    • KuciKoo

      The toll road to the airport has not been built yet. That figure is wrong. So the only way people can get there is on the train or possibly through back roads… The site below has some good photos of the new airport. They expect the toll road to be finished in 2015. Go figure…

      • Roland

        KuciKoo – thank you for the link – the airport itself looks surely decent.

        I wonder though how they transported building material to the site during construction? I guess there’s a road actually but probably not adequate for the amount of passengers, cargo, fuel, people being employed there, goods for sale, catering etc. being expected and needed for the airport to function and be efficient.

  • Wonderer

    And that being 45% of the total…!
    I wish I were the owner…! “wanna go to the airport? across MY land? 50ribu saaaaja…”

    • Roland

      Yes indeed – this guy in charge says that so far only 65 percent of land has been acquired to construct the toll road and then it’s talk of half a hectare as being missing. Some weird numbers there…it basically means that the entire toll-road (if and when one day finished) has a space requirement of about 1.5 hectare total. That must be the smallest and shortest toll-road in the world!

  • ndut

    Its ok, let the public be used to the idea of getting to the airport with public transport (train) first. As long as the train runs fine, people get used to it, maybe even prefer its comfort, and then even when the toll road is finished we won’t see too much traffic towards the airport

    • Roland

      Good thinking but certainly only wish-thinking. So you think that maybe the toll-road was with exactly that purpose in mind not finished to encourage travellers using public transportation?

      I think this might work up to a certain extend for private travellers (but then only if the final train station basically ends up inside the departure building) but how about group travels or cargo transports? Don’t forget this airport expects massive passengers and trains have to run in ten-minutes intervals to transport passengers to and from the airport.

      Truth being is that there was a complete lack of coordination between those two constructions. I can imagine that there is a road now running to the airport but probably due to the construction work done at the airport it is in miserable condition, or, at the very least, completely inadequate to actually move many people in cars.

  • Catweazle


  • helmiklasik

    Maybe its time for tourists to experience the ojeks (motorcycle taxis). It could be fun to ride three-some on moped into town in Medan. Wonderful Indonesia, simply wonderful.

  • Rule Britannia

    Another example of perfect planning. What do they say? PPPPPP.. perfect planning prevents p*** poor performance.A new motto perhaps?

  • Dirk

    If an airport opens in the forest and no one is able to reach it, does it make a sound?

  • Serigala-Berbulu-Domba

    Talk about putting the cart before the horse…

    Should prove to be a massive business opportunity for a novel travel method – saddling up a water buffalo to make the trip from the airport to the nearest road connection to Medan.

  • stewy

    Good work, build a new airport 45ks out of town with no basic infrastructure in place.

    RIP gonna really miss u..

  • godmachine12 .

    Only in ID could you close the current airport and begin using a new one which has no highway/toll-road connecting it to the city it’s serving. Are there any roads at all or just a train track? ‘I’ is for ‘incompetence’ and ‘I’ is for ‘Indonesia’.