Siborong-borong, North Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Silangit Airport in Siborong-borong, North Tapanuli, North Sumatra, was officially opened as an international airport here on Saturday, marked by the arrival of a Garuda flight from Changi airport in Singapore.
The inauguration was witnessed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, North Sumatra Governor. Tengku Erry Nuradi, and Director of Lake Toba Authority, Arie Prasetyo, as well as five district heads of Toba Samosir, Dairi, Samosir, North Tapanuli, and Humbang Hansundutan.
Yahya stated that Lake Toba has been declared as one of the 10 priority tourist destinations called as Ten New Balis, with the target of foreign tourist arrivals in North Sumatra projected to reach 1 million in 2019.
"To achieve the target, a world-class tourist destination and an international airport are needed. Today, Oct 28, is a historic moment (Youth Pledge Day) as the first international flight from Singapore arrived directly at Lake Toba," he noted.
The place is believed to become one of the best tourist destinations in the world, he remarked.
Nuradi pointed out that Silangit was the second international airport in the province after Kualanamu in Medan, the capital of the province.
Only around 300 thousand foreign tourists have so far come to the region a year, he revealed, adding that "the tourism sector would become one of the backbones of the economy of Indonesia and North Sumatra."
Garuda Indonesia serves the flight with Explore Jet Bombardier CRJ-1000, with a total capacity of 96 passengers, and the airline company will serve the Singapore-Silangit route on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Silangit airport has a capacity of 500 thousand passengers a year, with a runway of 2,650x30 meters, and is capable of accommodating Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.
Source: ANTARA News