I had the chance to visit Bandung a while ago. The capital of West Java province is now open to domestic and international flights after the military airbase located near the city had been modified to accomodate commercial flights. I personally am delighted to have additional option to visit the city famous for cheap clothes and awesome spots to hang out.
Eager to see its airport, I decided to grab an airplane ticket from Surabaya to Bandung. The route is served by several flight services, some of them are budget airlines that offer tickets at affordable price. The price difference between a normal flight ticket fare and train ticket was around IDR 100,000 (one way) when I purchased mine. With this much price difference, I could arrive at my destination on merely an hour versus staying in the train for full 12 to 14 hours.
The airport is quite small. My friends who had been there before told me that the plane would start braking hard as soon as it hit the runway. I believe them now as it was exactly what I felt sitting in the plane when it landed at Husein Sastranegara airport, Bandung.
The airport was not equipped with AirBridge yet. Passengers disembarking from the plane had to walk to the arrival terminal, which consisted with single conveyor belt for passengers to pick their baggage. There were two flights arriving consecutively when I arrived. Even with only two flights passengers worth, the arrival terminal had already felt cramped.
The good side? It is located ridiculously near with the city. Journey to the city center took less than 30 minutes or so via local roads. Official airport taxi were also plenty, although its fleet condition could definitely improve.
Husein Sastranegara could definitely use some improvements. As it is now, the airport is operating at over capacity by as much as 300%. Airport administrator has kicked off the expansion project to add another terminal facilities and increase its capacity. The project is expected to finish by the end of 2015.
Let’s hope the project finishes on time, since Bandung is a quite nice city to go sight-seeing. That is, if you could bear with the traffic jams on weekends..