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A specialist company for the preparation and development of direct investments
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Upgrading Wamena Airport - Investment and feasibility assessment for the world´s most remote airfield

Wamena Airport is a small but very busy airfield in the middle of the Jayawijaya highlands in
Indonesia´s Papua Province (the so-called Baliem Valley), which is the main arrival point for all kinds of flights to the region, especially flights for religious missionaries. The airport acts as a gateway for tourism; the Baliem Valley is well known for its "stone age" characteristics, and about 50,000 tourists visit this area each year. Moreover, most of the resources needed for (modern) living - food, fuel and equipment for the 70 x 70 km2 valley - are channelled through the airfield; there is no other practicable way to access this region than by air. The valley is home to about 500,000 people and is the most densely populated area in the Jayawijaya Regency.

Due to increased tourism and population growth, the Wamena airfield has already been at the limit of its capacity for several years. The turn-around time for planes has been kept to 20 minutes maximum, while flights take off mainly in the morning, because cloud cover in the afternoon often prevents good navigation through the surrounding mountains. Night flights are not possible at all, because suitable landing lights and beacons are not available, while during bad weather in daytime the airfield´s capacity decreases further. At the moment, most flights - passenger or cargo - from outside Papua to Wamena have to go through Jayapura where transfer to smaller propeller planes is necessary.

DeRuiter Consultancy - Wamena Airport - World’s most remote airfield DeRuiter Consultancy - Wamena Airport - World’s most remote airfield DeRuiter Consultancy - Wamena Airport - World’s most remote airfield

Long-term objective for Wamena

DeRuiter Consultancy was engaged by the Regency to prepare an appraisal and draft a provisional scenario for investment. Together with the Dutch airport consultants NACO (DHV Group) two scenarios were presented. The first proposed a restricted upgrading programme, aimed at improving the current technical infrastructure, in order to be able to fly under all circumstances (investment value € 10 - 12 million), while the second proposed making the airfield capable of receiving direct flights of small jet planes from within and, if required, from outside Indonesia (investment value € 20 - 24 million). The latter scenario included extending and broadening the runway. Both scenarios have proven to be financially feasible in principle and are now being evaluated by BAPPENAS (the national planning agency of Indonesia), the Ministry of Finance and the Department for Transportation with a view to obtaining approval by the Regency for what is officially called "Foreign Regional Borrowing", and ultimately improvement of the airport.


DeRuiter Consultancy - Wamena Airport - World’s most remote airfield