Indonesia’s Kualanamu Airport to receive makeover in $6 billion investment


Kualanamu International Airport (KNO) is about to receive a billion-dollar makeover. 

GMR Airports Consortium, jointly owned by India’s GMR Group and France’s Aeroports de Paris Group, won a contract at the end of November 2021 to operate Kualanamu International Airport with local state-operator Angkasa Pura II.

Under the partnership tender announcement released by Angkasa Pura II,  the group plans to turn the regional airport in Northern Sumatra province into one of the region’s busiest airports.

With a goal to reach 50 million passengers every year, the plan will see KNO airport’s passenger numbers rise five-fold, comparable to the passenger traffic levels of Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) and Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN) prior to the pandemic. 

The three companies, India’s GMR Group, Aeroports de Paris Group and Angkasa Pura II, will form a joint venture called Angkasa Pura Aviasi, which will be majority-owned by Angkasa Pura II.

Angkasa Pura Aviasi will operate Kualanamu under a 25-year “strategic partnership” worth $6 billion (IDR 85 trillion).

“Development at Kualanamu International Airport is focused on strengthening international connectivity and involving the private sector to realize 3Es, namely: Expansion of traffic, Expertise sharing and Equity partnership. Aviation traffic will increase, then there will be a transfer of technology and expertise, as well as a share of capital at Kualanamu International Airport,” said Angkasa Pura II President Director Muhammad Awaluddin in the press statement.

He added: “We have criteria that must be met by strategic partners, including having experience and a network of both airports and airlines so that Kualanamu International Airport will later become part of the network and synergize in developing routes and services for airlines, passengers and cargo.” 

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