Indonesia is reportedly planning to build a secondary airport in Bali as part of its strategy to boost tourism in the country.
The airport will be constructed in the northern village of Kubutambahan, on the opposite side of the island to tourist hotspots such as Kuta and Seminyak, according to 9News.
The proposed international airport will be used to accommodate primarily low-cost carriers.
Indonesian Transport Minister Budi KaryaSumadi told 9News: “All the low-cost carrier in the north and the normal in the south.”
Construction on the airport is scheduled to commence next year.
The new airport will relieve pressure on the existing NgurahRai International Airport in Denpasar, which is struggling to meet surging demand.
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To tackle this situation, the government is planning to develop a new tourism mecca in the island’s underdeveloped north region.
Once the new airport becomes operational, the government will ask low-cost carriers to move to the airport while Ngurah Rai undergoes further upgrades.
To support the new airport, the government has started upgrading roads to cut travel time from the north Bali city of Singaraja to Denpasar from two-and-half hours to an hour-and-a-half.
However, tourism advocates claim that the next part of the drive on congested roads to holiday hotspots would take an extra hour.
Experts said that it would create problems for Australians travelling to Bali as they could be sent to an airport hours away from tourist hotspots.
Under the plan, almost 70% of flights operated by low-cost carriers Jetstar, Air Asia, and Lion Air would land in north Bali.
To placate tourists, the Indonesian Transport Minister has also suggested the possibility of building Bali’s first railway to carry passengers south free of charge.