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Juanda, a beautiful new airport near Surabaya SURABAYA - Several years ago I was there for the last time - at that time it was the first time as well - at the airport of Surabaya. A small building which was far too small for the number of passengers that had to be served from the airport there. A common problem at airports, especially in the western part of Indonesia where the airline industry has grown incredibly in recent years following the startup of a number of new routes flown by several different airlines.

In the mean while, things had changed. I remembered that because when I transited there, the official opening of the new terminal building that was constructed at a different and large location at some distance of the old one was just a few days away. I still used the old facilities while several days later the airport would be reopened. That is what I had in the back of my mind when I booked the ticked. Eventually I would be able to see the new airport from the inside. It is said to be a much more modern airport than Jakarta for example.

The main building of Juanda airport, near Surabaya almost looks futuristic for an Indonesian airport.  indahnesia.com
The main building of Juanda airport, near Surabaya almost looks futuristic for an Indonesian airport. indahnesia.com

Because of bad weather - there was low cloud cover over big parts of Java the morning of my departure - I did not have any visibility upon departure from Yogyakarta above a few hundred meters. In Surabaya the situation was the same - there was no ground to be seen from the plane until the very last moment. Maybe that was just okay since I did not have a seat near any window. My photo camera stayed put in my bag for this flight. I would only need that later, when already safely on the ground at the airport.

Eventually the airport appeared from behind the low clouds, however we were already that close that it was just a matter of seconds before we landed - pretty roughly - on the asphalt of the Juanda airport near Surabaya. The pilot used the brakes with full force to be able to turn left over the taxi-lane in the direction of the new terminal building. Braking the plane was not that steady but it was far from dramatic. Maybe the pilot had another mind about that, but I was not able to see that from my seat. He also didn't show up in panic when he parked his plane.

The area around the main building is spacious and still looks clean as well.  indahnesia.com
The area around the main building is spacious and still looks clean as well. indahnesia.com

Taxiing the plane to the - as it looked like - rather large terminal just took a matter of minutes. That was a big pro for this airport in contrary to other averaged sized airports where this can take quote some time, possibly for waiting on other planes in queue. Within a few moments the plane stopped at walking distance from the terminal building. It only took some stairs before the plane could be unloaded. But it was more modern than that already here. We could leave the plane via a real bridge here already, and that for a price of a ticket where walking is not a problem as well for me personally.

Because I had no luggage with me - just a backpack and a laptop - I was able to find myself the way out pretty fast. It was clear that this airport indeed is one of the most modern in Indonesia, there everything looked clean, the signage was still there and everything looked slick and modern. A rarity in this country of changes where a sign that is made one day, becomes obsolete almost the very next day and where things change that rapid, that it is very hard to keep track of it all.

As a little jewel this new airport building was located in a wide and nice open area. That is also quite unique on the very crowded island of Java. The city of Surabaya was still several kilometers away and the spacious airport terrain left enough space for a possible future extension without creating an acute shortage of space. It all looked somewhat not-Indonesian. Maybe that is just good; there developments can go at a tremendous pace at certain points, also in Indonesia.


Tags: travel, surabaya, airport, juanda, bandara, foto, indonesia


Posted in Travel @ 17 December 2008 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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