APEC Disruption At Bali Airport

Last updated: July 15, 2013

Bali Airport to close sporadically during October’s APEC Summit.

The manager of Bali Airport has announced that the airport will be closed to all commercial flights between 10:00 and 16:00 (4pm) on the following dates: 5, 6, 8, 9 October.

The purpose of the airport closure is to allow the planes of the 21 APEC countries’ leaders time to land and take off around the APEC Summit, held in Nusa Dua.

In 2011 when Bali hosted the smaller East Asia Summit, no such airport closure occurred. Priority was given to VIP aircraft and delays to commercial flights were large. Afterwards, Garuda Indonesia placed advertisements in local newspapers to apologise for the inconvenience to its passengers.

Indonesian domestic airlines are often slow to advise of schedule changes, so it is probably best to avoid flying to/from Bali on these dates. Clients already booked on flights then will be advised of their new itineraries when they become available.

Some may wonder why the airport has been renovated/expanded and new roads have been built connecting the airport to Nusa Dua and Denpasar in time for the APEC Summit, when Joe Public can’t use them.

However, Indonesia has a long history of overdue infrastructure projects being “finished” in time for international events.

For example, in 2005 the Cipularang toll road connecting Jakarta and Bandung was completed in time for that year’s Asia-Africa Summit… but only by rushing it.

Cipularang toll road hole Cipularang Landslip

In the months after the summit, the toll road was repeatedly closed as cracks, large holes, landslips, etc appeared.

Indonesian National Games 2012, Riau

Similarly, the 2012 Indonesian National Games proved to be a boon for hotel operators in host city, Pekanbaru. Living quarters at the athletes village were in such poor condition that many athletes opted to stay elsewhere, at their own expense. This was one of various issues that affected the games, including venues becoming flooded after heavy rain, dirty water in the swimming pool, the shooting range being built next to a school and corruption allegations.

Sail Komodo 2013 logoFinally, Komodo Airport is getting a longer runway, but not to assist with the increasing number of flights and passengers. No, it is for a visit by the Indonesian President on 14 September, as part of the Sail Komodo festival. The leader was apparently unimpressed that the presidential plane couldn’t land there last year due to the short runway length; he had to switch to a smaller plane (just like everybody else).

7 Comments on “APEC Disruption At Bali Airport”

  1. Chris says:

    UPDATE – 22 AUGUST 2013
    Some airlines have bitten the bullet and started cancelling flights.

    For example, Merpati Airlines has cancelled its flights between Denpasar and Labuan Bajo on 5-9 October.

    Sky Aviation will still fly the same route on 7 October, but has cancelled its flights on 5, 6, 8 and 9 October.

  2. Chris says:

    UPDATE – 02 SEPTEMBER 2013
    The schedule of closures has been adjusted. ( Source )

    05 OCT 2013: No closure
    06 OCT 2013: 10:00 to 20:00
    07 OCT 2013: No closure
    08 OCT 2013: 13:00 to 20:00
    09 OCT 2013: 07:00 to 14:00

  3. isaac kijlstra says:

    helllo all,

    I’m trying to find out if i can get to airport Denpasar at 20:00 hours because my friend is scheduled to land at 20:05 hours on 6th of october.

    And if can’t get there are there taxi’s waiting so my friend can take one? or are they also not allowed at the aiport.

    The information says that the airport will be closed untill 20:00 hours but i’m afraid it can be much longer do to delays of the ‘important people”

    thanks in advance.

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Isaac,

    The airport is scheduled to re-open at 20:00, meaning for commercial planes to take off and land. The airport terminals will still be open.

    There is an airport taxi service. They have a monopoly.

  5. Maviss hoo says:

    My flight is schedule to land at Denpasar on 6/10/2013 at 1840 hrs. Will my flight be affected?

  6. Chris says:

    Yes, it will. On 6 August, Bali Airport does not re-open for commercial flights until 20:00.

    I recommend you ask your airline what is happening. The flight may just be delayed a little, so it arrives soon after 20:00.

  7. Chris says:

    Garuda is the first and currently the only airline to notify its passengers of the impending close of Bali Airport for APEC:

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