New Airport in Medan

Last updated: November 20, 2013
KNO Kuala Namu International Airport, Medan

Medan’s new Kuala Namu International Airport opens on 25 July 2013.

It will replace the overcrowded Polonia Airport (MES), which will close on the same date.

The Bare Essentials | To/From The New Airport | To/From Medan | Other Tips

The Bare Essentials

Opening date: 25 July 2013
Airport code: KNO
Location: 31km North-East
Airport Bus: Yes
Airport Train: Yes – more information
Toll road: Under construction

Travelling To/From The New Medan Airport

View Going to/from Medan in a larger map
Left to Right: Pinang Baris Bus Terminal, Medan City Fair Airport Bus Terminal, Medan Train Station, the old Polonia Airport, Amplas Bus Terminal, the new Kuala Namu Airport

Medan Airport is located in Deli Serdang Regency, north-east of the city.

Full details of public transport options to/from Kuala Namu are still to be confirmed, but it will be the first Indonesian airport with a rail link. There will also be airport buses; two likely destinations are the city’s main inter-city bus terminals: Pinang Baris in the west (destinations: Aceh, Bukit Lawang, Berastagi) and Amplas in the south (Lake Toba, Sibolga, Bukittinggi).

A toll road connecting the new airport to Medan and Tebing Tinggi is still under construction, and is due to be finished in late 2014. In the meantime, it is 31km to the airport from Central Medan, measured from the City Hall (near Medan Train Station). Google Maps estimates the journey to be 53 minutes. A taxi ride would be around Rp100 000 ($US10, € 8, £7). Fares from the airport are unconfirmed; it is likely that there will still be a pre-paid fixed price voucher system – not taxi meters – similar to those currently operating at Polonia Airport and Bali Airport.

UPDATE – November 2013
We have more information and a review of Railink – the name of the train between Medan and its Airport – here.

Travelling to/from Medan

Medan Flight Route Map

Destination City Flights/Week
1. Jakarta 290
2. Penang (Georgetown) 99
3. Kuala Lumpur 74
4. Batam 63
=5. Banda Aceh 42
=5. Singapore 42
7. Pekanbaru 35
8. Bandung 32
9. Nias (Gunung Sitoli) 28
10. Padang 21


Medan is the busiest airport in Sumatra, with almost 8 million passengers in 2012. It is often a transit point for visitors than a tourist destination itself, many either just stay one night continue their journey directly to more well-known attractions with smaller airports or no airport at all. By plane, these include e.g. diving hotspot Pulau Weh near Banda Aceh, famous surfing breaks in Nias and Mentawai Islands near Padang. Places acessible from Medan by bus are listed in the previous section.

Other Hints And Tips

Based on the previous experience of the new Lombok International Airport opened in 2011, here is some further advice:

  1. Indonesian airline booking systems are often slow to change.
    Airlines might still use MES (Polonia) as the airport code after 25 July 2013, even though the flight is arriving at/departing from KNO (Kuala Namu). Airlines only changed the airport code on their website months after Lombok International Airport opened.
  2. It is recommended you arrive before the minimum check-in time.
    With the greater distance to travel and the potential for computer system breakdowns that come with a new airport, it is a good idea to allow additional time.
  3. It is recommended passengers reconfirm their flight a few days before.
    There may be some minor schedule adjustments, due to the different location making flights slightly longer/shorter. It is now possible to do this online with almost all of the larger airlines; here is a guide. For the one exception – Sriwijaya Air – departure times by using the online booking system, i.e. check the price for 1 ticket on the same flight that you’re on. Please note: it cannot be checked this way less than 3 days before departure, when tickets cannot be booked online.
  4. International Airport Tax sticker for MedanAirport Tax may change.
    Currently it is Rp35 000 ($US3.50, € 2,50, £2.25) per person for domestic flights, and Rp75 000 ($US7.50, € 6, £5.50) per person for international flights. Airport Tax in Lombok didn’t increase, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t in Medan. If there is an increase, it cannot be more than airport tax in Jakarta: Rp40 000 for domestic, Rp150 000 for international.

As further information becomes available, this post will be updated.

In the meantime, if you have a question, please write it in the comment field below.

Or if you would like to enquire about a flight to/from Medan, please fill in this form.

223 Comments on “New Airport in Medan”

  1. Chris says:

    Some more details about the train between Medan and the new airport:

    – There will be 15 trains per day, departing Medan hourly starting at 05:00 until 20:00

    – Trains will at first be local trains built in Madiun (East Java), later replaced by trains imported from South Korea.

    – Price for a return ticket is expected to be around Rp80 000 ($US8.50 € 6,50 £5.50).


    Still to be confirmed:

    – Price for a one-way ticket

    – Travel time

    – Facilities at the airport station

  2. Ratna Penny says:

    Dear Sir,
    Plse, I am enquiry about the train from city of Medan through the new KNO AIRPORT.
    How ever my flight by Air Asia its first flight, 05.20 am
    What i heard that the train route only started at 5 am.
    The problem is what to do? Any transport that goes direct to the airport? Either than taxi or train?

  3. Chris says:

    Dear Ratna,

    There will also be a DAMRI airport bus going from the city to the airport. However, the location and schedule is unconfirmed.

    If it’s an international flight, you will need to check in before 03:20; for a domestic flight, before 04:35.

    If you want to save money, maybe you could take the last train at 19:00 or 20:00 on the day before and rest at the airport overnight. Lots of people do this in Jakarta.

  4. Verónica says:


    I fly to Medan next 26 July, my flight was changed to the new kuala Namu airport.

    Please, I want to Know how to get Bukit Lawang from the new airport, Are there buses?

    And for a private car or taxi, Which are the prices?

    I’d be very grateful for your help.


  5. Chris says:

    Hi Verónica,

    As written above, there will probably be a DAMRI airport bus to Pinang Baris bus terminal in West Medan. From here, you can get a bus to Bukit Lawang.

    Taxi rates are unconfirmed. Probably it will be the same voucher system as used at the old airport, but with higher prices because of the greater distance.

  6. Sara says:

    Hi I’m confuse that a lot of change on going Medan to KualaNamu.

    My wife will travel alone frm Medan to Penang coming soon on 31 July 2013 to penang evening 6.30pm flight airasia, but with transport more easy to travel from Medan to Kuala namu by train or Taxi is direct inside of new airport or outside?

  7. Chris says:

    Hi Sara,

    According to Wikipedia, trains will run from Medan to the new Kuala Namu airport non-stop. The train station would therefore be inside the airport grounds.

    Whether taxi or train is easier depends on where your wife is travelling from. If she is near Medan Station, she should take the train. If not, a taxi may be more suitable.

    There are more details about the train service in another comment, above.

  8. Chris says:

    More details about the train between Medan and Kuala Namu airport from this source:

    – The train operator hopes to have city check-in available shortly. This means you can check in for your flight at Medan Station and not have to carry it on/off the train, and can go straight to the departure gate when you arrive at the airport.

    – If the train is full, priority will be given to flight passengers over others.

    – Passengers are advised to board the airport train that departs Medan at least 2 hours before their domestic flight’s departure time.

  9. Ben says:

    Will visa on arrival be available? We have contacted numerous sources to find out but no one seems to know! Thanks

  10. Chris says:

    Hi Ben,

    The short answer is yes.

    Medan has the country’s #4 busiest airport and the busiest on Sumatra, and Medan’s Airport has always offered Visa On Arrival.

    Just to be clear, the new Kuala Namu Airport is replacing the old Polonia Airport. The immigration officers, check-in staff, cleaners, etc will all move over from PA to KNA on the night of 24/25 July. The same thing happened two years ago in Lombok.

  11. Chris says:

    More details about the road trip for those planning to come/leave by taxi:

    A road and the toll road, both directly connecting Medan to the airport, are not yet complete due to land acquisition problems, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto said last week….

    The current state of the road means a journey from the center of Medan to the airport, a distance of 32 kilometers, can take up to two hours.

    National airline Garuda Indonesia on Monday reminded its customers to arrive at least two hours before departure.


  12. Chris says:

    More information about travelling to/from the airport, courtesy of Tiger Airlines:

    There are 3 routes starting on 25 July:

    1. Terminal Amplas –> Kuala Namu Airport –> Teminal Amplas (Operated by DAMRI)

    2. Ring Road –> Kuala Namu Airport –> Ring Road (Operated by Bus Bintang Utara)

    3. Plaza Medan Fair (Jl Gatot Subroto) –> Kuala Namu Airport –> Plaza Medan Fair (Operated by Bus Sentosa)

    Tickets cost Rp25 000 ($US2.50) per person. The Google Map above has been updated with bus #3. As the exact location of bus #2 is unclear, it hasn’t been added.

    A one-way fare is Rp80 000 ($US8).

  13. Chris says:

    It is also now confirmed that airport tax will remain unchanged, at least for the time being.

    Domestic airport tax: Rp35 000 ($US3.50) per person
    International airport tax: Rp75 000 ($US7.50) per person

    In the next 1-2 months, domestic airport tax may increase to Rp60 000 per person.


  14. Chris says:

    From today until 24 July, Garuda passengers can get a free ride to the airport from the Garuda office in Jalan Walter Mongonsidi No. 34A. This service is provided for “passenger comfort and avoiding flight delays”.

    Reading between the lines, this means Garuda thinks its passengers won’t have heard there is no real road to the airport and will be late arriving and checking in.

    It could be argued that Garuda seems to have forgotten similar delays are a frequent occurrence in other Indonesian cities, especially Jakarta.

  15. Andrea Lill says:

    Our plane to kuala lumpur will depart at 6:20 am. Is there a hotel near the airport, so we don’t need to travel there in the morning?
    Or any sleeping places in the airport?

  16. Chris says:

    Dear Andrea,

    To answer your questions:

    – There is no hotel at the new Kuala Namu airport, at least not yet. Looking at Google Maps, there are also no hotels near the airport. The nearest is listed at 13km away, which is a straight line (as the crow flies). The real distance based on roads would be 20+ km.

    – The new Medan Airport is one of the few in Indonesia that has public access to the terminals (not a secure area for passengers only), so sleeping there is an option.

    According to The Jakarta Post the first train to the airport leaves Medan at 03:55 and takes 45 minutes, so you would arrive at the airport at 04:40. If the minimum check-in time is 90 minutes before departure, you should be ok. There are many more choices for hotels near Medan Train Station.

  17. Chris says:

    Airport Tax may change.

    The latest news is that airport tax will increase in September or October at Medan Airport (along with airports in Jakarta, Pekanbaru and Tanjung Pinang).

    However, the new rates for airport tax are still to be confirmed. The rumoured figure for domestic airport tax is Rp100 000 ($US10), which would be an increase of 190% for Medan and 150% for Jakarta.

  18. Troy says:

    Hi Chris,

    Planning to have a late flight from BDO next month
    HOws the taxi service in KNO? are they 24hrs?


  19. Chris says:

    Hi Troy,

    There will always be taxis to meet all incoming flights. Medan Airport taxis (like those in Bali) have a monopoly of taking passengers from the airport, but cannot bring anyone to the airport.

  20. Low says:

    Hi Chris,

    Does Raja Taxi operates in the new airport? I would like to take raja taxi from the new airport to Parapat.
    Is there any other means of transportation from kualanamu airport to Parapat?

  21. ade says:

    Dear sir

    I’ve heard that airport tax for domestic increase until Rp 100,000 by 4 august 13.
    How about international airport tax ?
    Just give some’s more comfortable if we subcharge airport tax to air ticket,like others country.

  22. Chris says:

    Hi Low and Ade,

    Thanks for your questions.


    Medan Airport taxis (like those in Bali) have a monopoly of taking passengers from the airport

    So no Raja Taxis. You can get a DAMRI bus to the terminal at Amplas, then another us or Raja Taxi to Parapat.


    The latest news is that airport tax will increase in September or October at Medan Airport (along with airports in Jakarta, Pekanbaru and Tanjung Pinang).

    However, the new rates for airport tax are still to be confirmed. The rumoured figure for domestic airport tax is Rp100 000 ($US10), which would be an increase of 190% for Medan and 150% for Jakarta.

  23. james says:

    Thanks for the information. We land in in the new airport on the 22nd August and would like to travel to Parapat, does the following feeling like a realistic plan? Arrive in the airport, catch the DAMRI bus to Amplas station, then catch another bus to Parapat? I’ve read so much varying info I’m struggling to work out what’s the best way. I have read there are tourist and local buses to Parapat from medan but can’t seem to find out where to get they from or even if they exist? Many thanks for any help.

  24. Chris says:

    Hi James,

    Yes, I think your plan is realistic.

    Yes, there is a DAMRI airport bus from the airport to Amplas Bus Terminal.

    Yes, buses from Medan to Parapat depart from Amplas Bus Terminal. Buses to more distant destinations (e.g. Bukkittinggi, Padang) will also pass through Parapat. It is a 4-hour journey.

  25. Chris says:

    Here is a photo of the interior of the train between Medan and Kuala Namu Airport:

    While the train seems to be operating smoothly so far, there have been some grumblings about the expensive price (Rp80 000 or $US8 one way) which makes it cheaper for 3-4 passengers travelling together to take a taxi.

  26. Nor Fairah says:

    I would be travelling to Medan this September. I read some reviews saying that it’s better to travel by train as the traffic is pretty bad. I need to know if the train tickets are available at the counters and which is the nearest station to Marriott?

  27. Chris says:

    Hi Nor Fairah,

    To my knowledge, there are only two stations on the train between Medan and the airport: 1) Medan Station and 2) Airport.

    The JW Marriott Hotel in Medan is 900 metres from Station #1 on foot, or 2.3km by car (due to 1-way streets). Here is a Google Map with directions:

    Train tickets are available at both stations; see above comments for pricing information.

  28. George says:

    Hi there. I’m just wanting to know if there’s a good spot inside the airport where I can meet a friend who is flying in from a different country than me? I.e a restaurant, internet cafe. Is there a list somewhere of what shops, restaurants etc is INSIDE the airport.

    Many thanks for your kind assistance!


  29. diandra says:

    how far from kuala namu airport to medan train station? and how to go to medan train station?

  30. Chris says:

    Hi Diandra,

    It is a 45 minute journey from Kuala Namu Airport to Medan train station.

    Medan train station is in the middle of Medan and easily accessible by bus and taxi.

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