To allow more visitors to enjoy magnificent Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Garuda Indonesia will increase its regular flights from Jakarta to Silangit Airport near Lake Toba to 3 times weekly starting 23 March 2016 using CSJR 100 Bombardier aircrafts. The agreement was signed between Garuda Indonesia and the Regent of North Tapanuli, Nikson Nababan last Thursday, 3 March 2016.
With the operation of the flights, this will cut overland travel by 3 to 4 hours when compared to the present land route between Medan’s Kuala Namu Airport and Lake Toba. The Silangit-Lake Toba route takes between only one to two hours’ drive.
Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has designated Lake Toba for accelerated Tourism Destination development, being one of 10 priority destinations earmarked for immediate development including infrastructure and supporting facilities.
The others being : Tanjung Kelayang Beach on Belitung island (formerly called Billiton), Tanjung Lesung Beach facing Mt. Krakatau in the province of Banten, The Thousand Islands in the Bay of Jakarta, Borobudur-Prambanan and other heritage sites in Central Java, the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Park in East Java, the Mandalika Beach in South Lombok, Komodo and Flores in East Nusatenggara, Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan, Wakatobi Marine Park in South East Sulawesi, the island of Morotai in North Moluccas, and Raja Ampat in West Papua.
On 2 March, President Joko Widodo, popularly called Jokowi, paid a second visit in so many months to the Lake Toba area to form the Lake Toba Authority which comprises the 7 Regencies in and around Lake Toba, and a number of related Ministries that include the Ministries of Transportation, of Environment, Public Works and others, with the Minister of Tourism as Chief Executive in charge.
The Silangit Airport, meanwhile is being expanded to have a 2,650 meters by 40 meters runway to allow landing of Boeing 737 aircraft types. The new airport and terminal are expected to be operational by 2018.