Frans Kaisiepo Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frans Kaisiepo Airport
Bandara Frans Kaisiepo
Kaisiepo.jpg
IATA: BIKICAO: WABB
BIK is located in Papua
BIK
BIK
Location of airport in Papua
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Pertiwi Daya Sembada
Operator PT Angkasa Pura I
Location Biak, Papua
Elevation AMSL 46 ft / 14 m
Coordinates 01°11′24″S 136°06′27″E / 1.19000°S 136.10750°E / -1.19000; 136.10750Coordinates: 01°11′24″S 136°06′27″E / 1.19000°S 136.10750°E / -1.19000; 136.10750
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 11,715 3,571 Asphalt
Statistics (2011)
Passengers 366.385
Aircraft Movements 13.143
Cargo 1.299.331
Sources: List of the busiest airports in Indonesia
Mokmer Airport in 1961

Frans Kaisiepo Airport (Indonesian: Bandara Frans Kaisiepo) (IATA: BIKICAO: WABB) is an airport in Biak, Papua, Indonesia. It is also known as Mokmer Airport.[1] The airport is named after Frans Kaisiepo, the fourth Governor of Papua. The airport has seven aircraft parking slots, of which two are capable of handling wide-body aircraft, and a small terminal without jet bridges. The airport's only runway is 3,571m long, designated as 11/29.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Garuda Indonesia Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jayapura, Makassar
Sriwijaya Air Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jayapura, Makassar
Susi Air Manokwari, Nabire, Serui[2]

Future[edit]

New Terminal A & B will be completed in late August 2014/2015 Frans Kaisiepo International Airport runway widened to 4,300 by 10 metres (14,107.6115 ft × 32.8084 ft) will land widebody.

History[edit]

As World War II started in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan started occupying Irian Jaya in 1942. In an effort to win the war, some naval bases and military airbases were built in Irian Jaya. This also happened in Biak, particularly at Ambroben county, where Mokmer Airfield was built. It had a 2,000 X 40 m runway and was built by Romusha workers.

Japan then attempted to build a second military airfield in Samao county. However, the airfield was never completed and abandoned when Allied troops attacked Japan's military and defense bases. Meanwhile, Mokmer Airfield was completed and was now capable of supporting Japan's military aircraft, either single-engine or twin-engine.

The allied troops landed at Biak on 16 November 1944. With the most complex equipment of that time, they built many military facilities, including air services for troop mobility, logistic hub, and defense base. Numerous airfields were built at Biak, including Boroku Manuhua Airfield in Boroku County and Sorido Airfield in Samau town. Mokmer Airfield's runway was extended to 3,000 X 40 m. This airfield was used by the Royal Australian Air Force . The allied troops ended their occupancy of Biak in 1945.

The government of Netherlands soon took over the airfield. After Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, commercial flights started to operate to and from Biak, using Boroku Airfield which had a 2,000 m runway. Mokmer airfield wasn't in use that time and this continued into 1951. Because of a letter from Nieuw Guinea's governor (number 38/a.2/1935,dated 17 September 1953), Boroku Airfield was closed. Since then, the government started to search for another airport site. The choice was then finalized to the former RAAF and Allied troop airbase, Mokmer Airfield.

At first phase, the airport was revamped to accommodate piston airliners such as the Douglas DC-3. This phase was completed in 1954.

With the advent of jet airliners such as the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, the airport went through another modernization to start accommodating them. This modernization was completed in 1959. Sorido Airfield was closed to civilian traffic and is now a base for the Indonesian Navy in Biak.

From August 1962 to 30 April 1963, Irian Jaya was administered by UNTEA. As a result, Mr. A.A. Widodo was pointed to be the first executive manager for the airport.

In November 1962, Mokmer Airport was given over to Mr. A.A. Widodo from the government of Netherlands via a person named J.C.Smith.

On 1 May 1963, the airport was given over once again from UNTEA to the government of Indonesia. Shortly afterwards, an administration improvement regarding organization and airport operation was carried out.

In 1990,the Airport's management and operation was handed over to Angkasa Pura I.[3]

Ground transportation[edit]

Taxis and civil transport cars (Angkot) can be used as public transport alongside private vehicles.[4]

Terminals[edit]

There is a terminal with a Check-in Hall,a departure hall,and an arrival hall

   Terminal Area      : 1.367 square meters
   Passenger capacity : up to 100.000 passengers per year

The terminal is equipped with numerous facilities including a mosque, public telephone boxes, Automated Teller Machines (ATM), restaurants, and souvenir shops.[5]

World War II[edit]

Mokmer Airfield was part of a complex of airfields built on Biak Island by the Japanese (Mokmer, Borokoe and Sorido), of which Mokmer was the main USAAF facility after the island was taken by the United States after fierce fighting in late May and June 1944.

The Battle of Biak Island came about after a succession of Japanese defeats in 1943 and 1944 along the northern coast of New Guinea. Biak became a Japanese stronghold, which they were determined to hold to the last man. Unknown to the advancing Allies, the Japanese began fortifying the island and when the Allies invaded on 27 May 1944, the Japanese put up a fierce defense. The only tank vs. tank battle in New Guinea occurred on Biak, where Japanese Ha-Go light tanks were knocked out by American Sherman tanks. Japanese soldiers were well entrenched in the interior of the island in limestone caves and fortifications, a trend that would be seen again in islands like Palau. These entrenched troops fought an excellent defense and the casualties at Biak were high - for the American Army, 435 KIA and 2,360 WIA. The Japanese lost an estimated 6,125 KIA, with 460 POWs, and 360 Formosan POWs.

Major Allied units stationed on Biak Island[edit]

Postwar[edit]

Postwar, the airfield complex became a major reclamation site for all types of surplus Allied aircraft.

Mokmer Airfield is located to the west of Mokmer village on Biak, parallel to the coastline and the Japen Straight and is the only one of the three currently used as an airport, now called Frans Kaisiepo International Airport. Mokmer Airfield also became a major refueling point for airline flights from the United States to destinations in Indonesia, prior to non-stop cross Pacific flights. On 16 July 1957, KLM Flight 844 crashed into Cenderawasih Bay shortly after takeoff. 58 out of 68 onboard perished.

Sorido Airfield has been disused since 1962 and is located to the northwest of Mokmer, and is clearly visible on aerial photography. After the war the airfield was used by the Dutch who had kept it as a military airfield, flying P2V Neptunes and later Hawker Hunters from the base until the withdrawal of Dutch forces in 1962.

Borokoe Airfield is due west of Mokmer, along the beach. Not used as an airfield after the American liberation, it became a Fifth Air Force Air Depot area; however, the old runways are evident in aerial photography

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • www.pacificwrecks.com
  • [franskaisiepo-airport.com]
  • [2] (Article was modified and translated into English in 'History' column)

External links[edit]