State-owned air navigation firm AirNav Indonesia said it had prepared additional flight slots and airport operational hours for the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.
AirNav indonesia president director Novie Riyanto said the company would add flight slots in notably bust airports, such as Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta and I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.
He went on to say that Soekarno-Hatta could see a 5 percent increase in traffic from the usual 1,050 to 1,075 aircraft movements per day to about 1,150 to 1,200 movements per day.
However, as Soekarno-Hatta’s maximum capacity was 1,300 aircraft movements, Novie said airlines could request additional slots.
Meanwhile, Bali's I Gusti Ngurah Rai will see an increase from 470 to 480 movements to about 600 aircraft movements per day.
"If needed, some airports will operate 24 hours. Sentani International Airport in Jayapura, Papua, for example, is ready for such a task," Novie told the press.
He said that potential in Papua airports needed to be explored, especially Wamena Airport, which has more than 100 aircraft movements per day, even though it is a small airport.
He added that AirNav would increase weather awareness during the holiday season, as he predicted that the peak holiday date for air travel would be Dec. 23 to 24, when rain was expected.
"We saw a decline in the previous holiday season but we hope there is an improvement as the government has pushed for cheaper tickets," he told the press on Thursday.
According to Transportation Ministry data, the number of airline passengers during last year's Christmas and New Year holidays stood at 3.9 million, a 9.75 percent decline from the previous year of 4.3 million passengers.
Novie also announced the firm would invest Rp 2.2 trillion (US$1.6 billion) next year, with plans to place special attention on airports in the five “super priority” tourist destinations.
"Sisingamangaraja XII [Silangit] International Airport in North Sumatra, which is the entry point to Lake Toba, for example, now have a precision landing system that helps planes land amid frequent fog," he said.
He added that Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta would also see around 20 aircraft movements per hour compared to the current eight per hour.