Ngurah Rai Airport (Denpasar Airport)

History of  Ngurah Rai cannot be separated from the development of the village of Tuban, a small village located in southern Bali. The village is located about 12 km. to the south of Denpasar, precisely in the isthmus between Kuta Beach and the Peninsula Benoa, Badung regency.

In 1930 in the village of Tuban built an aerodrome emergency Dutch speaking government for military purposes and the mobility of its troops mainly from Java especially Surabaya. Bali is considered as a strategic area because it is located in the middle and is a crossroads between Western Indonesia and Eastern Indonesia.

Initially, the airport is an airstrip along 700 meters which was built by Verkeer Voor en Waterstaat Department (Public Works Department). This airstrip construction is performed by forced labor involving hundreds of workers from Bali. The work was completed within a period of one year and successfully landed by “Dragon Plane” Dutch military. At that time the airport was known as South Bali Airport. 

During its development, the airport is not only used for military purposes, but also for commercial purposes. In May 1935, the Dutch airline Koninkelijke Nederlandsch-Indische Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KNILM) or Royal Netherland Indies Airways landing regularly in South Bali’s airport when it was equipped with telegraph equipment. Other airlines that use this South Bali Airport is Quantas Empire Airways. 

Dutch East Indies government realized that the location of South Bali’s airport is very strategic. At that time, the movement of goods and services from Europe to Australia is rapidly soared. Therefore the Department Verkeer en Waterstaat then did some improvements and additional facilities at this airport. One is the construction of radio facilities. Communications at the time still using Morse code transceiver. 

During the Japanese occupation, the role of South Bali’s airport has increased. At that time, the airport was better known as Tuban Airports. Japanese occupation authorities realizes that the position of Bali Island was very strategic, primarily to distribute forces to the western region and eastern Indonesia. Because at that time occupied the island of Bali, Tuban Airports are not completely destroyed. Tuban Airports improved and extended so that the foundations in the form of grass and rock fragments amplified with the installation of the steel plate or steel plate pear. The original runway was extended from 700 meters to 1200 meters so that it can accommodate the type of aircraft Convair 240. 

After Indonesia’s independence, President Sukarno made Tuban Airport developments as a priority. In 1959, it began serving a flight of international routes from various countries. At the time of immigration. Customs was not in Tuban Airports so any airline that would to land must obtain permission from the central government. 

In 1963 the Tuban Airport Project was began which aims to prepare Tuban Airport as an international airport. Then the international terminal built and extends the runway to the west of the original 1,200 meters to 1,200m x 45m, and 2 x 100m overrun. This project was a big project, because to extend the runway to the west should be done by reclaiming beaches along the 1,500 m.

Since 1963, Tuban has played a flight serving internationally. When the Mount Agung erupted on February 18, 1963, all aids from the international community were entered to this airport directly. In 1966, the government officially opened the international air services at Airport Tuban. 

The change of the government from President Sukarno to Soeharto led Tuban Airport project cannot run as planned. Another thing that causes developmental delays Airports Tuban was the limited equipment and technology. Physical progress report Tuban Project Airport when it had reached 84.9% and the government is short of funds amounting to Rp. 117.8 million due to increases in material prices. This project takes a whole fund of Rp. 35 billion.

Tuban Airport Development Project eventually resolved within a period of six years. On August 1, 1969 President Soeharto inaugurated the operation of Airports Tuban. The inauguration is once again changed the name become Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali. The government also providing immigration services, customs and excise at Ngurah Rai. Since then many heads of state and heads of government as an official state visit immediately landed on the island of Bali, including the Royal Dutch Queen Juliana Louise Marie Wilhelmina van Oranje-Nassau on 1– 4 September 1971 and the state visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in February 1986.

While the dimensions of modernity and technological progress, will look at the major equipment and complementary airport. For example, gate handling system, which uses HBS (Hold Baggage Screening) worth Rp. 150 billion. Passenger baggage will be moved electronically and mechanically from the day check-in to aircraft approaching. This technology makes minimal physical contact of the officers, but much more accurate, fast, effective and efficient. Also equipment is the first time applied in Indonesian airports.