Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thoughts on Soekarno-Hatta

It's about Soekarno-Hatta airport, not the persons, that I would like to share to the world a few belated thoughts. Nothing is new, but hopefully somebody with power or connection is listening this time around.

Soekarno-Hatta airport services are definitely getting better in the last five years or so. The latest development is the installation and inauguration of big size Soekarno-Hatta full body bronze statue not far from the main airport buildings.

We thank you for the improvements made by the airport management as well as by the people in the ministry of transportation and the ministry of law and human rights. But as we all know, no matter perfect a system is, there's always plenty rooms available for improvements.

Here are a few outdated thoughts on our beloved airport, some are trivial, and some others may not be.

One immigration form. When we arrive from overseas trip, there's no need for travellers to declare things they bring. A couple of times I handed over blank forms to the officer without being noticed.
Save money, save paper and the forest, save time, reduce corruption, and improve travellers convenience.

No airport tax and fiscal. Delete the need to pay airport tax (both for local and international trip) and fiscal fee at the airport. They should be built in the air ticket fare. One-time payment. The government shall charge it to the airline company or with some other possible ways.
Other than all above benefits, it gives peace of mind to foreigners as there's no need for them to spare Rp.100,000 in their wallet to pay the airport tax.

Spacious and friendly immigration booths. The airport management shall demolish the building on the right side (from the travellers view) of the immigration booths, which is frequently used by officers to bring in "important persons" who do not want to queue and most likely get some sort of service charges, to make it more spacious. Put a nice carpet to cover the whole floor in front of the booth.
It would be nice to put unique small Indonesian snacks in the immigration booth, instead of candies to warmly welcome people.

Trolleys. They should be put right after the immigration checkpoints, simply to make people convenience.

Take out x-ray scanners from the exit door. If the immigration insists to do it, do it before the luggage are placed on the conveyor belt. Besides, all the cabin luggage have been inspected when people are entering the boarding lounge.

Taxi and bus exit. Make a dedicated exit for travellers who want to use taxi or bus, right after picking up their luggage. Travellers shall not choose taxi providers, but airport management must guarantee that all taxis used from the airport are equally good in service and are safe. This will eliminate confusion of which taxi to use, and discourage unregistered taxi services.

Airport train. This service is urgently needed, especially with traffic jams that frequently occurred during busy time and rainy days. Addition of the third lane at the airport toll road shall be considered within the next five years, and probably the fourth lane for busway as well

That's all for now. Feel free to post a comment and share your thought on how to make travelling be more enjoyable and fun, and at the same time can also improve the country's image among world travellers.


  1. Hello again Mas Aroengbinang. Agree with all your thoughts, and urge that the management also to look into the "helpers" just outside the terminal - those who will help you load the luggage into your car without being asked. But later demand rewards in exchange to their "self-initiatives".

    An improvement to the immigration form will also be appreciated. The current form requires us to fill in the same information twice - perhaps something like carbon paper can help. Not sure cost-wise.

    On the x-ray scanners, if for any reason we must have the machines right there, we can have more lines opened when the queue gets longer.

    Glad that you blog this.

  2. @bleu: hallo bung, trust that you are doing fine there; agree that the "self initiative" helpers shall be taken care of. it can give birth to "premanism" later.

    Other country immigration form is also simpler, we shall be able to do the same. Hope that travelling through Soekarno-Hatta airport will be more enjoyable in the near future. Cheers.

  3. i dunno.
    why do i feel, with this new improvement suggested, the airport will still look a like as a [domestic] bus station..

  4. nice dream...for me Jakarta International Soekarno - Hatta is very nice airport, I mean beautifull building...last Januari I was there with my hubby and our friends all Canadian...and the Immigration was perfect, they are nice and polite, but outside airport the people start bugging us...

    and free airport tax and fiscal? comment

  5. Heard that there will be *at last* train in/out from the airport.

    Well, I have ney problems about the airport in terms of architectural point of view, kind a exotic. But the public facilities need some extra maintenance. Toilet, seating, parking lot, et ce te ra. As it is the biggest air gateways in Indonesia, I think the government need to think about renovate those facilities once more.

    Tapi suasana di Soekarno Hatta mirip ama bandara-nya Casablanca.. riweuh!

  6. @jurnal: it's probably more on people habit, and that habit may relate with the level of prosperity of the country

    @amethys: hi jeng, the idea is for the government to still collect the airport tax and the fiscal fee but the passengers shall pay the fees together with the airline ticket, not at the airport.

    @anggunpribadi: maintenance and keep public places in order still pose big challenge for both the government and the general public. trust that we'll be there one day.

  7. i think, Soekarno Hatta Layout is ok, we just need a major renovation, esp the design which was truly old-fashioned (80's). we can simply duplicate changi (terminal I was built in the early 80's).
    And, yeah....more anti-smoking police should be developed, we are really bad in this habit.
    I just finished reading world's best airports...(spore, msia, thailand are in), and most people surveyed will vote for its cleaness,friedliness, and spacious.
    The insurance company should remove their posts in anywhere at terminal building.
    We can build fancy malls, it's very easy to just renovate our airport.