Connectivity in West Papua through Air Bridge

Photo: Ministry of Transportation
Photo: Ministry of Transportation

After a sea toll, the Government of Indonesia has now initiated an air bridge program to build connectivity in Papua. This air bridge is able to reach the suburbs and mountains of West Papua that is not reachable by sea tolls specifically areas far from the port.

After the sea toll road, the Government of Indonesia has now initiated an air bridge program to build connectivity in Papua. This air bridge is able to reach the suburbs and mountains of West Papua that are not reachable by sea tolls, which is areas that far from the port.

Air Bridge is the implementation of cargo air transport from the airport to other airports and/or from the airport to airport in disadvantaged, remote, outer areas and around the border. The air bridge program consists of air transport for cargo that transfer from districts to districts. Later, West Papua will become the pilot project of this air bridge.

“We will start 2017, which is from Wamena and Timika to the top of Jayawijaya. So, West Papua is our priority.” Said Budi Karya Sumandi, Minister of Transportation.

Photo: Ministry of Transportation
Photo: Ministry of Transportation

This year the Ministry of Transportation will make three airports as air bridge hubs namely Timika, Wamena, and Dekai. Then, to improve the declining in commodity prices of the rural areas, the government also opened twelve cargo air transport routes. The twelve routes are Timika – Beoga – Ilaga – Kenyam – Sinak; Wamena – Mugi – Mapendumas – Enggolok – Mamit; and Dekai – Silimo – Korupun – Anggruk – Ubahak. (Department of Transportation)

Aside from reducing price disparity by up to twenty percent, air bridges are also expected to intensify the economy in West Papua. Air bridges are not only functioned to bring essential goods from outside West Papua but also transports goods produced in West Papua to other areas in Indonesia. The air bridge is also integrated with several port locations connected to the sea toll.

The budget used in this program is about four hundred billion rupiah. The budget will be used for infrastructure development at several airports, such as runway extension and airspace traffic control development.

The air bridge was officially operated in October. This is marked by the first flight of Cargo Air Transportation Korwil Dekai from Airport Nop Goliat-Dekai UPBU to Korupun by using the Caravan type plane C208. C208 transporting essential foods such as rice, instant noodles, and cooking oil. “Thank God, finally the air bridge inaugural flight was carried out successfully. Hopefully, this can facilitate the flow of logistics to the West Papua suburbs.” Said Director General of Air Transportation Ministry of Transportation, Agus Susanto.

Previously, the price of sugar in the mountain region of West Papua reached Rp29.000/kg now decreased to Rp21.750/kg; the price of cooking oil initially Rp31.000/kg now decreased to Rp23.250/kg; the price of flour formerly Rp24.000 now the price only Rp18.000/kg; even the cement price at first was Rp1.500.000 now the price only reached Rp500.000 for size 40 kg/sack.

Keyword: West Papua, Indonesia, connectivity, Ministry of Transportation, air bridge, sea toll, price disparity, development, Papua Province, West Papua Province

By: Zura (Researcher, MaCDIS)

Editor: Nabilah Audah