The transportation ministry has projected that Indonesia will see more than 100 million air passengers next year, up at least 15 percent from 2013, an official said.

“Therefore, we need to step up air safety,” said Harry Bakti S. Gumay, director general of aviation at the Transportation Ministry.

“The largest contributor in terms of number of passengers is still [Jakarta's] Soekarno-Hatta international airport, with 57 million passengers,” Transportation Minister Evert Ernest Mangindaan said.

He said that the government was currently working in cooperation with officials from London’s Heathrow Airport to raise safety, security and comfort standards.

Like Soekarno-Hatta, Heathrow has two runways, but unlike the Indonesian airport, Heathrow can accommodate 80 flights per hour, compared to 64-70 at Soekarno-Hatta.

Arif Wibowo, chairman of the Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA), estimated that the industry could still continue to grow, at a rate 2 to 2.5 times the country’s GDP.

(The Jakarta Globe)