Bali Boosts Its Airport But Skips New Shops
Not many would recognize the name "Ngurah Rai International Airport," but many have flown into it: It's the arrival point for anyone visiting Bali and it's more commonly referred to as Denpasar. Whatever you call it, it's in for quite a few changes, judging by the announcements made this week by Indonesian VP Jusuf Kalla.
The problem right now is that the airport's capacity is really only 2 million passengers a year--yet 4 million people are arriving in Bali annually. Quite rightly, authorities have decided that a $110 million expansion is needed, and so the terminal that currently services domestic air traffic will be enlarged. Once it's done, it'll become the international terminal.
An interesting part of the planning is that no commercial shops will be built in the new terminal. Officials say that since Bali is known for its "traditional art markets" in the tourist areas, there shouldn't be a bunch of new airport shops to compete with them. And here we were thinking airport shops were meant to be tear-the-last-foreign-currency-out-of-you pit stops.
Shops or not, the new Bali airport is meant to be finished during 2010. But let us be the first to say that we think "island time" will make that 2012.