Bali boom squeezes Ngurah Rai Airport capacity

DENPASAR – Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport is set for a further expansion as the growing popularity of the island tests the airport’s capacity.

Over the past five years, growth in total passenger numbers averaged 9% annually, leading to a 2019 record number of 24 million passengers. This was the figure quoted as the airport’s capacity when it was upgraded and extended in 2014.

In order to accommodate future growth, Indonesia is reviewing development plans that would allow the airport to serve 37.6 million tourists by 2026.

Changes in the airport’s infrastructure have been introduced to increase runway, apron, and parking capacity.

Meanwhile, Australia has regained its title as Bali’s number one tourist source for the first time since China took the crown in 2017.

Unofficial figures released by Perth-based Indonesia Institute show Australian arrivals to Bali were up by 5.24% last year to a record 1.23 million. China came in second with 1.1 million visitors.

“So, despite the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, drunken yobbos, spiked drinks and motorbike crashes Aussies are still in love with this small island to our north,” Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor said.