Budi made his statement after a meeting at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs here on Thursday, which was also attended by representatives of the Indonesian Air Force, PT Gudang Garam Tbk as the investor and state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II (Persero).
"The point is that the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs (Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan) would monitor this project. We hope the construction could start this year and as soon as possible. The minister has expected its soft opening in 2019," Budi said.
Citing the expose of PT Gudang Garam, the airport is planned to have a 3,000-meter long runway. But for its first stage, it would build a 2,400-meter long runway.
"They have submitted the proposal, the investment would be around Rp5 trillion," he added.
According to Budi, The airport construction project has entered its first stage to set the location and design of the airport.
The airport would serve some 15 million people in more than 10 districts/municipalities.
Meanwhile, the Director General for Land Procurement of the Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning Ministry Arie Yuriwin said, the ministry has prepared the location for the airport.
"We have to adjust it with the spatial planning, then we can set the location and provide the land," he said.
The airport would cover an area of 457 hectares, some of them are owned by PT Gudang Garam.(*)