Built to replace the old and outdated Adisutjipto International Airport (JOG), Yogyakarta International Airport (YIA) is Indonesia’s newest gateway, although it won’t really come into its own until its infrastructure fully opens in 2020.
Located in the Temon district of Kulon Progo Regency, which serves the Yogyakarta Special Region in Central Java, YIA is operated by PT Angkasa Pura 1 (AP1) and actually opened for business on May 6, 2019, when a Citilink flight from Jakarta become the first commercial service to touchdown at the new $775 million airport.
The new airport is desperately needed as despite only being built to accommodate 1.5 million passengers per annum, JOG handled 8.4 million (+7.7%) in 2018 and has welcomed in excess of 6mppa since 2014.
However, YIA’s low-key opening and the fact that part of its terminal building was still under construction in May, means that outside of Indonesia, the airport has remained very much under the radar of the outside world during its first six months of operations.
But that is all about to change as the first phase development of YIA will be completed at the end of 2019, allowing the airport to fully open in early 2020, a move which will pave the way for the transfer of all JOG's domestic and international flights to the new airport.
When that happens, YIA will become Indonesia’s sixth international gateway after Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK), Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport (SUB), Medan’s Kuala Namu International Airport (KNO), Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) and Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG).
Currently, YIA offers 10 daily departures to five Indonesian destinations with flights operated by Batik Air (ID), Garuda Indonesia (GA), Citilink Indonesia (QG) and Lion Air (JT).
It has handled around 52,000 passengers daily since its May 2019 opening, but this figure is expected to dramatically increase with the new fllghts, which will include international services to destinations such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Located 60 kilometres from Yogyakarta, YIA boasts a single 219,000sqm terminal and a 3,250m long runway that effectively give it the capacity to handle up to 20 million passengers annually.
And the capacity will be needed as the upward trajectory in passenger traffic across Indonesia’s airports shows no sign of slowing down.
Indeed, a record 135 million passengers used Indonesia’s airports in 2018 and ACI predicts that Indonesia will climb from being the 10th largest aviation market on the planet in 2017 to the fourth biggest by 2036.
AP1 notes that the terminal has “significantly” more space than the 15,137sqm one at Adisutjipto International Airport, and that it is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and over 8,000sqm of commercial space that will be "filled by a wide selection" of retail and F&B outlets.
It is also quick to point out that YIA is one of the region’s safest airports as it has been built to withstand natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes.
As a result, Yogyakarta’s six metre high, two-storey terminal building is designed to withstand an 8.8 magnitude earthquake and its 3,250m x 45m runway is located 400m from the shoreline and eight metres above sea level to avoid flooding.
AP1, which operates 15 airports across Central and Eastern Indonesia, reveals that YIA has 22 aircraft parking stands and is capable of handling widebody aircraft up to the size of the A380.
“YIA’s terminal has allowed for the introduction of state-of-the-art facilities within a building that is 14 times larger than the existing airport. This will provide safer, more secure and effective operations and a better airport experience for both passengers and the airlines,” says AP1 president director, Faik Fahmi.
“The hope is that the new airport will make Yogyakarta easier and more convenient to visit by boosting the region’s non-stop connectivity to the world.
“As the centre of Javanese heritage, Yogyakarta offers a huge number of of historic and cultural attractions to tourists. These include the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan, which have long since made it one of Indonesia’s favourite leisure destinations after Bali. This, despite it being quite difficult to get to for foreign visitors, often involving one or two stop-overs in either Jakarta, Bali, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
“YIA’s opening could change all that. The goal of the National Tourism Priority Development Program is to attract more tourists to visit Indonesia, beyond Bali, and we believe that Yogyakarta International Airport will do just that. It has the potential to become the new gateway for tourism in the Central Java region.”
In addition to its passenger facilities, YIA has a 9,222sqm cargo terminal capable of accommodating up to 500 tonnes of freight daily. The facility is in line with AP1's ambition to develop YIA as a cargo destination as it believes that the airport has the potential to become one of the largest freight hubs in Indonesia.
And there are ambitious proposals to create an airport city around YIA by building a series of commercial, cargo village and industrial developments on and around the 645 hectare airport site.