Imminent plans to commence work on an extension of the apron area at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is meeting with some unexpected opposition from residents of the traditional village community of Tuban that surrounds the air gateway, Bali Discovery reported.
As reported by RadarBali.com, the planned reclamation will take 84-hectares of ocean bottomland and reclaim it to dry land surrounding the western end of the current runway for use as taxiways and parking areas large aircraft.
Local residents, speaking through their village chief, are concerned about the erosion of the shoreline that might be caused by reclamation. Villagers now want to see the taxiway and parking area extension built, instead, on a suspended platform over the ocean.
Tuban’s Village Head, Wayan Mendra, said the local community accepts the need for the airport apron expansion, but are adamantly opposed to reclamation to achieve that end. Mendra says the extension should be built on poles embedded in the ocean floor that will suspend the taxiway and apron over the ocean in order to prevent abrasion.
Mendra supports his argument by pointing to reclamation work undertaken at the airport in the 1960s that caused significant abrasion and erosion on German Beach and Banjar Segara in Kuta.
Mendra who is also an elected member of the Bali House of Representative (DPRD-Bali), said: “Therefore, we ask that a study be undertaken regarding the expansion of the Ngurah Rai Airport using suspension poles in a system resembling the construction of the Mandara Toll Road.”
The legislator and village leader have also ask the government not to disturb or infringe upon shoreline areas near the airport used by villagers for ritual ceremonies are areas used to anchor local fishing boats.