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Good news for those who wish to venture into the fascinating island of Nias, off the coast of North Sumatra, a haven for surfers and megalithic culture buffs.

The runway of Binaka Airport on Nias will be expanded, enabling large aircrafts from the capital city of Jakarta and Penang, Malaysia to land and take off.

The National Government, through the Director General of Air Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Regent of Nias on the plan to expand the Binaka Airport in the Nias Regency, North Sumatra, at the Office of Ministry of Transportation, Friday, 10th October 2014.

Present at the official signing ceremony were the Regent of Nias, Sokhiatulo Laoli and the Secretary General of Air Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, Santoso Eddy Wibowo.

“Upon completion, we expect that the airport can serve direct flights from Jakarta and Surabaya. Further we also expect direct flights from the city of Penang from neighboring country, Malaysia” said Laoli as reported by detik.com.

Laoli added that this will mark the development of the airport as the main tourist gateway to the magnificent wonders of Nias Island.

Currently, the runway of Binaka Airport, at Gunung Sitoli District, south Nias, measures only 1,800meters x 30 meters and is not considered ideal since it can only accommodate small airplanes. The airport only servest Wings Air flights using Fokker 70 Aircraft three times daily from the Kualanamu Airport in Medan, capital city of North Sumatra.

In the plan, the runway’s length will be expanded to 2,600 meters, while its width to 60 meters. The expansion of the runway will enable larger aircrafts to land and more flights from and to other major cities added.

The project is expected to commence in 2015 with physical works projected completed in 3 years.