PREVIOUSLY, Kertajati Airport was known as an airport that was in suspended animation due to lack of flights. The Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs even acknowledged that Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, West Java, was a failed National Strategic Project (PSN).

The biggest reason for the quietness of the airport is the difficulty of getting there, because the Cileunyi-Sumedang-Dawuan (Cisumdawu) toll road has not yet been operational. Today, Wednesday (17/5), a new Kertajati-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia flight route was opened. This route is served by AirAsia, where the flight frequency is twice a week, Wednesday and Sunday.

The management is aware of the vital access to the Cisumdawu Toll Road. The PUPR Ministry has targeted this toll road to be fully operational at the end of May or early June 2023.

In addition, the Ministry of Transportation plans to move the operations of all jet and propeller aircraft from Husein Sastranegara Airport, Bandung and will be centered in Kertajati.

“But to be able to support that, earlier the Cisumdawu toll road must be completed quickly because currently the distance is over 2 hours from here to Bandung. If it is finished, it might take 90 minutes or 75 minutes so that passengers are relatively comfortable,” said Head of Government Relations Indonesia AirAsia, Eddy Krismeidi Sumawilaga, at Kertajati Airport, Wednesday (17/5).

“If Cisumdawu is open, Kertajati’s coverage is quite wide, not only the eastern part of West Java but also the South,” he added.

On the same occasion, the Main Director of PT West Java International Airport (BIJB), Muhammad Singgih, admitted that he had collaborated with various parties to encourage other airlines to also enter Kertajati. He hopes, after AirAsia there will be other airlines that will follow.

“Along with the completion of the Cisumdawu toll road, the Ministry of Transportation has said Bandung will be moved. The scheme is, the first thing to move is a jet plane, then for propellers it will be given one year in the future. But in the end everything will be moved to Kertajati,” he said.

“We continue to encourage airlines to operate in Kertajati because like it or not we have to move to Kertajati. The toll road will soon be completed, and there will be no more connectivity difficulties,” he added.

Kertajati Airport previously served Umrah charter flights for the Kertajati (KJT) – Medina (MED) route on April 15 2023, using Lion Air airline flight code JT-068 with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

Then on May 9 2023, following the airline Garuda Indonesia also serves Umrah flights from Kertajati. Next, today Wednesday (17/4) it is AirAsia’s turn to serve regular flights with the inaugural route Kertajati-Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Furthermore, from June to August 2023, Kertajati will serve hajj flights after being designated as one of the Hajj embarkation and debarkation airports by the Ministry of Religion.

The Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi previously assigned PT Angkasa Pura II to help ensure the readiness of Kertajati Airport services.

“AP II already has experience working with GMR India as was done at Kualanamu Airport. Kertajati Airport will become a hub airport in West Java. Its location is also close to Patimban Port which will later be as big as Tanjung Priok Port. So this is very strategic,” said the Minister of Transportation .

The management of Kertajati Airport, namely PT BIJB and Angkasa Pura II, stated that the airport facilities were ready to serve passengers and aircraft movements for Umrah, Hajj and regular.

“In the future all jet and propeller aircraft will operate at Kertajati. Meanwhile, Bandung Husein Airport will serve specifically VVIP and private jet aircraft. But this year propeller aircraft will still operate at Husein Airport,” said Budi.

A number of facilities have been prepared, including a 3,000 m long runway which can accommodate large (wide body) aircraft, an aircraft parking area that can accommodate up to 22 aircraft, a passenger terminal area, vehicle parking, prayer room, valuables storage room, air conditioning, CCTV, stock fuel and other facilities. [ special]