Aviation in Papua Reopens, Local Economy is Excited Again

The reopening of inter-regional air flights in the region of Papua began to stimulate the local economy of the residents even though it is still in the implementation of relaxation handling of the corona virus prevention (COVID-19) emergency response carried out by the Provincial Government of Papua until 31 July 2020.

The start of the operation of flights at the Papua airport directly affected the economy of local residents, such as the porters of goods transporters, food and beverage vendors, betel nut sellers.

In fact, traditional Papuan noken bag traders, newspaper sellers to taxi drivers and motorcycle taxis in the airport area can regain daily income to finance the family's living needs.

The economic impact also occurred after the operation of the airport in Papua was felt by state-owned company PT Angkasa Pura 1 as the manager of Sentani and Biak airports and UPBU Kemenhub at Mozes Kilangin Timika airport and Wamena airport because they could earn revenue from parking fees and local airport management services.

Airport operations in Papua that have served air passenger transportation include Sentani Airport, Jayapura Regency, Mozes Kilanggin Timika Airport, Frans Kaisiepo Airport, Biak Numfor Regency, Wamena Airport, Mopah Merauke Airport and several other airports.

During the relaxation period which took place on 10 June until now, flight operations at Sentani airport have served four air transport service companies that have served routes from Jayapura Sentani airport.

Companies that have served air passenger transportation at Jayapura Sentani airport include Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air and Trigana Air by flying 2,900 people from Sentani airport.

General Manager of PT Angkasa Pura 1, Sentani Jayapura Airport Agus Budiharto admitted, until now even though there are air flight services at Sentani airport, the airlines serving routes to Jayapura are still very limited.

During the relaxation period, which served flights to Sentani-Cengkareng were Garuda Indonesia and Batik Air twice a week and Sriwijaya Air only once a week.

As for the operational company Trigana Air has been serving passenger flights twice a week to Sentani-Wamena and Serui.

"Indeed, air passenger services have been running even though it is not yet optimal because operating airlines must also implement health protocols related to the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic," Agus said.

Agus explained, every day the Sentani airport serves as many as 148 departing passengers while those arriving around 150 people.

To monitor the health of aircraft passengers at Sentani Jayapupura airport, officers from the port health quarantine (KKP) are always tasked with checking the health of air passengers.

"The Sentani Jayapura airport also provides a clinic for rapid tests (rapid tests) as well as swab tests," said the former GM of PT Angkasa Pura 1 at Frans Kaisiepo Biak airport.

For cargo transportation services, according to Agus, the average Sentani airport in Jayapura serves 40 times the flights, most of which go to the city of Wamena, Jayawijaya Regency.

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