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EAST TIMOR PLANS AMBITIOUS AIRPORT EXPANSION
East Timor is using its extensive oil and gas
revenues to build up its airports, outgoing
President Jose Ramos Horta has said.
The centrepiece of this is an ambitious
plan to expand President Nicolau Lobato
International Airport in Dili.
"The runway will be lengthened to around
2,500 metres to allow the airport to host
larger planes, such as the [Airbus A330],"
says the government's Strategic Development
Plan, which is already being put into action.
Timor has no plans to build a 3,000 metre
runway, which would be needed by larger
airliners such as the A380 or Boeing 747 --
notable, given the tendency to plan airports
for maximum projected growth.
"Not only is it unlikely that planes the size
of a Boeing 747 will be commercially viable
to service Dili airport in the next 20 years,
[but] extending the runway to 3,000 metres
would [also] require building out to sea and,
with water depths of up to 60 metres, the
cost would be prohibitive," the plan notes.
Instead, the runway will be extended across
the Comoro River and its width will be
increased to 45 metres from 30 metres.
Management of the airport will also be
transferred to an airport authority, which will
focus on the commercial side of operations
and longer term financing.
Industry observers say the goal is realistic
and modest, avoiding extravagance for
its own sake. The plan will lead to the
development of the facility into "a modern,
international-standard airport with a capacity
to handle one million passengers per year,"
the report notes.
The report also advocates a District
Aviation Plan, which will identify the capital
requirements for rebuilding and upgrading
airstrips at Suai, Oe-Cusse Ambeno, Lospalos,
Maliana, Viqueque, Atauro and Same. The
government hopes to have the plan completed
and work underway by 2020.
Funding for this plan will be boosted by a
deal with neighbouring Australia to jointly
exploit oil and gas in the Timor Sea. Money
from this goes into the country's Petroleum
Fund, which is to be used to help cover the
cost of the plan, Ramos Horta said during a
recent visit to Bangkok.
"The Petroleum Fund has reached over
US$10 billion" Ramos Horta noted.
e President Nicolau
Lobato International Airport
Masterplan will be a modern
international standard airport
with capacity for up to a million
passengers per year.
1642 Airline Contracts
398 411 054 USD Turn Over in 2011
174 Covered Countries
180 Airline Clients of the World Program
108 APG Members
One APG Network
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