Asmat world class tourism
Timika (ANTARA) – The Government of Asmat Regency, Papua Province, continues to boost the development of transportation infrastructure in the region to realize its vision of making Asmat a world-class tourism destination.
Asmat Regent Elisa Kambu, who was contacted by Antara from Timika, Tuesday, said that in order to support Asmat’s plan to become one of the world’s tourism destinations, in recent years Ewer Airport has continued to be developed so that it can accommodate ATR wide-body aircraft.
The development of Ewer Airport, which is carried out together with the Ministry of Transportation, is expected to boost the flow of tourist visits to Asmat, both domestic and foreign.
“Actually, there are many tourists who want to come to Asmat, but so far one of the main obstacles is the problem of transportation difficulties. The development of Ewer Airport is very important to support the increasing flow of tourist visits to Asmat,” he said.
Although the Asmat region is topographically dominated by swamps with wide rivers making it impossible to build road access, it has its own uniqueness that cannot be found anywhere else.
The art of carving Asmat sculptures that are well known throughout the world, supported by typical Asmat dances and various natural tourist charms which are still beautiful, are assets as well as selling materials to attract tourist visits to the regency located on the southern coast of Cenderawasih Island.
“Of course, if the ATR aircraft can be operated regularly to Ewer Asmat Airport, people will continue to come to Asmat because Asmat is already global enough. Of course the economy will develop such as trade, culinary, hospitality and so on,” said the Regent of Kambu.
According to the number one Asmat who once held the position of Regional Secretary of Asmat, it is the tourism potential that has been the main spirit driving the economy of the local community in addition to the potential for fisheries.
Therefore, by opening access to transportation that is easier and more adequate, the movement of the people’s economy will be more advanced.
The construction of Ewer Asmat Airport was initiated in the 1960s, initially to support missionary service in the region.
Initially, the runway length of Ewer Airport was only about 600 meters using a steel mat floor considering its location in a swampy area.
After Asmat officially stood as the definitive district (the Asmat region previously joined the main Merauke district) in the 2000s, the local government began to increase the capacity of Ewer Airport so that it could accommodate twin otter aircraft.
These efforts began to materialize during the leadership of Elisa Kambu – Thomas Eppe Safanpo, continuing the development carried out by the previous regent, Yuvensius Alfonsius Biakai (2010-2015) and Acting Regent Elisa F Aury (2015).
“After I was elected and appointed with Pak Thom (Thomas Safanpo), we focused on six major infrastructure developments, one of which was the airport,” said the Regent of Kambu.
He admitted that building and developing Ewer Asmat Airport cost a very large budget, reaching hundreds of billions.
The budget comes from the Asmat Regency APBD, assistance from the Papua Provincial Government, as well as the Central Government through the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation.
Currently, the runway at Ewer Airport has been increased from 600 meters to 1,650 meters with a width of 30 meters, of which 450 meters are being worked on in 2019.
The Asmat Regency Government is still waiting for a technical test by the Airport Directorate of the Ministry of Transportation as a prerequisite for the feasibility of the runway at Ewer Airport for ATR type aircraft.
“The runway that has been used is 1,200 meters, while the additional 450 meters have not been used. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic period, a technical test has not been carried out by the Directorate of Airport of the Ministry of Transportation,” he explained.
In order to support the safety and security aspects of aviation, Ewer Airport is now equipped with Category IV Fire Fighting (fire fighting vehicles), as well as continuing the construction of runway strips.
“This firefighting car is one of the requirements requested according to the ATR aircraft landing procedure. In coordination with the airport, we carry this firefighting vehicle from Mopa Airport, Merauke,” he said.
Other facilities built at the site include a passenger terminal building covering an area of 488 square meters, supported by a wooden construction corridor which also connects the terminal to the pier.
Then, the expansion of the aircraft parking area (apron) measuring 60 meters x 40 meters to 90 meters x 70 meters and the taxiway (taxi way) 86 meters x 15 meters.
“The airport construction is carried out in mutual cooperation with regencies, provinces and the center. This synergy is how we make our efforts to present the country in the midst of society,” said Regent Kambu.
Several commercial airlines are proposing an approving flight using an ATR-42 aircraft to Ewer Airport, namely Wings Air and the plan is for Trigana Air Service with a capacity of over 40 passenger seats.
Asmat world class tourism.