CONSTRUCTION on Bintan Resorts International Airport kicked off yesterday, with the official groundbreaking ceremony taking place in Busung, Kuala Lobam.
Scheduled to open in mid-2015, the US$79 million facility is being funded by Gallant Venture, the parent company of Bintan Resorts International (TTG Asia e-Daily, February 28, 2011).
Chin Chow Yoon, executive chairman, Bintan Resorts International, said: “With greater accessibility to the resort destination, this airport project will serve to enhance the value of the many investments already made (in Bintan), and to attract more investments in new resorts, holiday homes, F&B, retail and attractions, especially at the newly master planned Lagoi Bay Development.”
Featuring one terminal and a 2.5-km runway in the beginning, Bintan Resorts International Airport will accommodate aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus 320, which have an operational radius of about five hours. This would place much of ASEAN as well as southern China and South India within reach.
The airport will serve mainly domestic routes, chartered flights from regional cities, as well as private planes. The next phase of development will see the airport expanded to handle aircraft with an operational radius of seven hours or more.
Bintan Island is currently served by Raja Haji Fisabilillah International Airport, which is located in Tanjung Pinang, the capital city of the Riau Islands. At the moment, the bulk of visitors to Bintan arrive from Singapore via a 45-min ferry connection.
Visitor arrivals to Bintan Resorts reached a new high of 470,470 in 2011. This figure is expected to climb to over one million visitors by 2015.