Angkasa Pura II (AP II) will invest Rp303 billion ($21.9 million) to expand Indonesia’s Jambi Sultan Thaha airport and the works will begin next year.

This will increase the airport’s handling capacity from 1.6 million to 2.6 million passengers annually, says AP II’s president director Muhammad Awaluddin.

The runway will also be extended from 2,220m to 2,600m, and the apron expanded to accommodate up to 13 aircraft.

AP II says the expansion is necessary as the airport handled 1.8 million passengers in 2018, above the 1.6 million capacity it was designed for.

Discussions are also underway with the Jambi city government for the airport to handle international flights.

“We support plans for Sultan Thaha [airport] to be an international airport. From Jambi, there are potential international services [that can be operated] such as those to Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China, as well as to other countries,” says Awaluddin.

Cirium schedules data shows six carriers serve nine domestic destinations from the airport, of which seven routes are operated by Wings Air. Its sister carrier, Lion Air has the greatest capacity, operating five daily flights flown using Boeing 737s.