- Polonia International Airport
name = Polonia International Airport
nativename = Bandar Udara Internasional Polonia
image-width = 210
IATA = MES
ICAO = WIMM
type = Public / Military
operator = PT Angkasa Pura II
elevation-f = 114
elevation-m = 35
coordinates = coord|03|33|29|N|098|40|18|E|type:airport_region:ID
metric-rwy = y
r1-number = 05/23
r1-length-f = 9,514
r1-length-m = 2,900
footnotes = Source:
DAFIFWAD|WIMM|source= DAFIF] GCM|MES|source= DAFIF]
Polonia International Airport ( _id. Bandar Udara Internasional Polonia) airport codes|MES|WIMM (Popularly Polonia Airport, as in Indonesia, Bandara Polonia) is located in the city of
Medan, Indonesia, about 5 km from the Central Business District. It is the first international airport in Medan. It serves flights to several Indonesian and Malaysian cities, along with a flight to Singapore. Flights to Indian cities are also planned. In terms of passenger numbers, Polonia is the fourth largest airport in Indonesia after Soekarno-Hatta, Juanda, and Ngurah Rai.Biro Pusat Statistik, " [http://www.bps.go.id/releases/files/pariwisata-01sep06.pdf Perkembangan Pariwisata dan Transportasi Nasional Bulan Juli 2006] " No. 45/IX/1 September 2006]
The name of this airport is taken from the name of the area in which it is situated, which originates from the
Latinname of the country Poland. Before it became an airport, the area was a plantation owned by a Polish, Baron Michalsky. In 1872, he obtained a concession from the Dutch administration for a tobacco plantation in an area in Medan, Eastern Sumatra, which later he named Polonia, which is his birthplace.
In 1879 the concession was handed over to "Deli Maatschappij" (Deli MIJ) or "NV Deli Maskapai". During that year also it was known that the Dutch KLM test pilot N. J. Thomassen à Thuessink van der Hoop was planning to fly on a
Fokker F.VIIin pioneering flight from the Netherlands.Paul van Weezepoel, " [http://www.dutch-aviation.nl/index3/1919-1939/index3-1924.html Dutch Aviation History] ". Retrieved on 2008- 07-06] Therefore, Deli MIJ who controlled that piece of land hand it over for the land to become the first airstrip in Medan
Initially, the news have cooled down, until 1924, by the time in which it was too late to prepare a proper landing strip. As a result, van der Hoop, together with
Lieutenant H van Weerden Poelmanof the Army Aviation Department , and KLMflight engineer P. A. van den Broeke, which was in the plane landed on a field used for horse-racing called Deli Renvereeniging and greeted by the Sultan of Deli, Sulaiman Syaiful Alamsyah
After this first landing, the Assistant Resident of Eastern Sumatra
C.S. Van Kempenurged the Netherlands East Indiesadministration in Batavia to allocate the necessary funding to finish the airport at Polonia. In 1928 the airport was officially opened which was marked with the landing of six aircraft owned by KNILM, a subsidiary of KLM on a temporary hardened dirt runway. From 1930, KLM and KNILM started expanding its network to Medan. It was only in 1936 that the airport's 600 metre permanent runway was finished.
In 1975, according to a joint decree isued by the Department of Defence and Security, Department of Transportation, and Department of Finance, the airport will be jointly managed between the
Indonesian Air Forceand the Civil Aviation. From 1985, according to the Government Regulation No. 30 year 1975, the management became the responsibility of Perum Angkasa Pura which subsequently became PT. Angkasa Pura II (Persero) since 1 January 1994
Runway and Facilities
There is a single asphalt
runway(05/23) which is 2900 m long and 45 m wide, but has only 2,625 m of usable length. There is no run-off space beyond the runway thresholds, and the airfield is surrounded [cite web |url=http://www.airliners.net/open.file/456978/M/|title=Photo of final approach to runway 05 Medan |accessdate=2007-12-24|author=M Radzi Desa |date=2003-11-12|publisher=Airliners.net |pages= 1|archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5UJQQKUH5|archivedate=2007-12-24] by residential areas, a fact which led to deaths of residents in the crash of Mandala Airlines Flight 091in September 2005.
It is often said that its location in a residential district, the wealthy Polonia area, is due to a superstition that the loud noises from aircraft drive away malevolent spirits. This explains why the airport is located within the city, rather than outside it as with most airports.
Until recently, the airport consisted of an international and domestic terminal. A fire in the international arrivals area in 2006 caused damage to the airport, reducing the baggage reclaim area to a small section inside the terminal. On
2 December 2007, the domestic terminal was damaged by another fire. [cite news |url=http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/02/travel/03sumatra.php|title=Fire destroys terminal at Indonesian airport|publisher=International Herald Tribune |accessdate=2007-12-23 |author=Reuters |archiveurl=http://www.webcitation.org/5UJQwV8BT |archivedate=2007-12-24] There were no injuries, and the separate international terminal was not affected.
The inappropriate location of the airport in the middle of the city has been implicated in four crashes:
*the 1979 crash of a Garuda Fokker F28-1000 plane that killed 64 people
*the 1987 crash of a Garuda McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 killing 32 people, after hitting one of the city's electricity pylon on approach
*the 1997 crash of Garuda Flight 152, an Airbus A300B4-200 killing 234 people (where the plane crashed into mountains near the city following misdirection from ATC and failure of ground proximity equipment)
*the 2005 crash of
Mandala Airlines Flight 091, a Boeing 737-200 killing 149 people
The airport suffers from several problems, apart from being prone to major fires in its terminals, including having a 2,900 m runway with only 2,625 m of usable length, as well as suffering from the proximity of
Gunung Sibayak, location of the 1979 crash, as well as having the airport's location be the middle of the city, with the facility surrounded by houses.The airport also suffers from overcrowding, serving 4.5 million passengers annually in facilities designed to handle only 900,000 passengers.
These problems should be resolved by the construction of
Kuala Namu International Airport, scheduled to open in 2009, a replacement airport, whose construction had been promised 10 years ago, after the 1997 crash. Construction began 29 June 2006.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines operate from Polonia International Airport (as of
June 2008) : [ [http://www.farecompare.com/flights/Medan-MES/city.html Destinations from Medan] at FareCompare.com]
Batavia Airflies to Jakarta-Cengkareng via Batam.
Past airlines and routes
Airlines still in operations with its terminated routes
Past airlines with its destinations
Adam Air(Banda Aceh, Jakarta-Cengkareng, Penang) (Operations Ceased)
China Airlines(Penang, Taipei)
Ked-Air(Alor Star) (Operations Ceased)
List of airports in Indonesia
Kuala Namu International Airport
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