Singkawang Airport: Indonesia’s Ethnic Chinese City, Welcomes a new Airport

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Singkawang Airport was recently inaugurated by Indonesia President Joko Widodo “Jokowi”.

This vital project is a significant step towards Singkawang’s regional connectivity and accessibility.

Funded through a PPP scheme

The construction of the Singkawang airport began in 2019 and began operations in April 2024. This project is funded through a collaboration by public-private partnerships (PPP) corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the state budget.

This unique collaborative financial model allowed the airport to secure $9.5 million from local businesses and $16.6 million from the state government.

President Jokowi sang praises for the collaborative funding model stating, “This shows the commitment of the city, district, and residents towards development.”

The Singkawang Airport will greatly improve mobility and logistics in the region. With the newly inaugurated airport, the city of Singkawang will link more closely with the rest of Indonesia.

In the press conference, President Jokowi urged Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi to call on several airlines that will operate in the airport. This undertaking has great potential for additional flight routes to and from the area, further strengthening the regional economy.

According to President Jokowi, the Singkawang Airport serves as a model of a successful cooperative scheme. “The PPP scheme will accelerate the development potential of various regions in the country,” he stated.

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Technical Details of the Singkawang Airport

The Singkawang Airport, located in the Singbebas area in West Kalimantan, is an alternative to the existing Supadio International Airport at Pontianak. The Singkawang Airport is 13 kilometers away from the city center.

In a bid to boost the economy and mobility of the area, the Mayor of Singkawang, Tjhai Chui Mie stated that the local government is reviewing plans for the construction of a privately funded airport. In 2018, the local administration acquired 106 hectares for the airport’s development.

The airport features a passenger terminal building, two aerobridges, and an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower. Initially, the airport had a 1.4-kilometer-long runway that was expanded to 2 kilometers. With the expansion, the airport’s 2-kilometer-long runway can accommodate narrow aircraft like the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.

The Singkawang Airport taxiway measures 200 meters x 18 meters and the airport’s apron spans 100 meters x 50 meters.

Singkawang, a city with Chinese roots

Singkawang is a coastal city located in West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. This ethnically Chinese city is the region’s second largest and is located 145 kilometers north of Pontianak. The city features a unique oriental atmosphere and hundreds of Chinese temples. As a primarily ethnically Chinese city, 70% of Singkawang’s population is of Chinese descent of which the majority hails from the Hakka tribe.

The Singkawang Airport features a design concept inspired by the three mountains: Raya Mountain, Pasi Mountain, and Poteng Mountain. This design borrows from the Hakka language for Singkawang “San Khew Jong”, which directly translates to “Mount-Mouth-Sea”. This phrase means a city located on the hills, near the sea, and has a river that flows up to the mouth of the river.

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