I just noticed the stupid banner has cut off everything...
i'll repost without the pictures...
Pekanbaru Trip Report
18th July – 21st July 2003
by Tsung Tsen Tsan
“Ooooooooosh……Wrrrmmmmmmmm” was heard throughout the cabin as the Captain Budianto selected the appropriate levers to configure the aircraft for landing. As I peered out of the scratched window and only seeing trees of all shapes and sizes were seen, I begin to wonder if we are ditching in the middle of the jungle. My thoughts were interrupted as a clearing suddenly appeared and Star Air flight 5H-340 made contact with the hot tarmac. Reversers and spoilers were activated causing the Boeing 737-2B7 PK
-ALN to lose velocity and exit at taxiway Alpha. We were finally in the jungle!
Pekanbaru, or the Jungle as it is affectionately known to some of us, is the city of the Riau Province, situated on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The town has a population of approximately 750,000, and is an industrial town, with numerous factories located in the vicinity. The town is dominated by Indonesian Muslims, however, being situated fairly close to Malaysia and Singapore, the town has a larger percentage of Chinese Indonesians compared to other parts of Indonesia. As with all other Indonesian towns, traffic here is heavy, and I would strongly recommend that good-mannered tourists do not drive here. Even local tourists find driving in Pekanbaru a challenge!
Bandar Udara Sultan Syarif Kasim II
(PKU/WIBB) is Pekanbaru’s main airport. The airport was constructed in 1930 with the original runway of 14/32. After World War 2, the current runway of 18/36 was built, which was extended to 1500m from 800m in 1950. The latest expansion in 1999 saw this north-south runway extended to 2240m. The Apron currently is designed to fit 6 F28, 1 737, 1 F27/50 and 2 30 seaters at any one time.
On most days, runway 36 is used for arrivals while runway 18 is used for departures. The reason for this being the traffic being predominantly to and from Jakarta, to the South East, traffic for the north and the west frequently use the opposite. Runway 36 is equipped with Cat 1 ILS.
Another reason for the traffic using whichever runway direction suits their needs is because Runway 36 has runway gradient of +7 degrees, creating a difference of 5 metres between the peak of the runway and the threshold. At the end of runway 36, there is also a dip – hazardous to aircraft which touch down late. Given that most landings on runway 36 are done in light tailwind, when combined with the various gradients on different parts of the runway, aircraft land and complete their landing rolls on different locations despite being of the same type.
As with the road traffic, air traffic in Pekanbaru is also relatively heavy. Airlines that provide air transport include Star Air, Merpati Airlines, Jatayu Airlines, Pelita Airlines and Riau Airlines, linking Pekanbaru to Jakarta, Medan, Malacca and Singapore. The types flown by these airlines are rather limited:
• Garuda – 737-300 and 737-400
• Batavia Air – 737-200 and 737-400
• Lion Air – MD82
• Mandala Airlines, Star Air and Jatayu Airlines – B737-200
• Merpati Airlines – B737-200, Fokker 100, Fokker 27 and CN235
• Pelita Airlines – Fokker 100 and Fokker 28
• Riau Airlines – Fokker 50
Air traffic in Pekanbaru comes in blocks. There are periods where the apron can be full of aircraft, but there can also be periods where there is not a single movement for a number of hours. The early hours of the morning tends to attract the most number of aircraft, while there is an afternoon lull from 3-5pm.
Pekanbaru Airport has laid down a number of interesting rules for airlines flying in. For example, in peak times all airlines that fly into Pekanbaru for a turnaround are only given 40 minutes to complete the turnaround, we were told that once the airport had 7 737s and 2 Fokker props along with the General Aviation and the Airport Chief personally coordinated and marshaled the parking!. Scheduled airlines that park their aircraft overnight have to wash their aircraft daily. I wonder whether Bangkok Airport should apply this ruling for Thai Airways!
Our trip to Pekanbaru was at the invitation of Gerry Soejatman and the Pekanbaru Airport Authority, and solely for capturing photographs of airplanes and the airport for a presentation that was to be made later in the year. All in all, 3 days of intensive photography saw us capturing numerous aspects of Pekanbaru Airport, from the congestion of the apron, to the airport hazards. We were permitted to freely roam around the airport in a vehicle, provided that we informed the Apron Movements Controller (AMC) of our intentions
Day 1 – Friday 18th July 2003
As mentioned, we arrived on Star Air 5H-340 operated by B737-2B7 PK
-ALN (23132/1044). We were greeted by Gerry Soejatman who met us on the tarmac, before entertaining us with lunch at the air conditioned café on the 2nd level of the terminal. Food here is rather expensive, with a simple meal of nasi goreng for 4 people costing 100,000 rupiah. The viewing mall (or waving gallery as it is called) is situated outside the café, and is an open air one, with 2 metre high grills. One can easily overcome this by standing on the chairs nearby. One incident worth remembering is the way a Merpati F100 PK
-MJA taxied onto its parking spot. It was great seeing a F100 close up, and doing such a tight 120 degree turn on the spot. Aircraft carrier parking as the apron controller calls it. We then proceeded onto the tarmac for some apron shots. Also noted on the apron were an Islander registration PH
-RGP, Garuda B737-400 PK
-GZA, LionAir MD82 PK
-LMK, Merpati B737-200 PK
-MBG, Fokker 27 PK
-MFQ and Casa/IPTN 235 registration PK
Day 2 – Saturday 19th July 2003
Waking up bright and early, we headed to the airport, and settled down to our photographing locations, on the tarmac and along the airport perimeter road for some touch down shots. We had our first look at the Jatayu’s recently acquired B737-200 PK
-JGP in hybrid livery, and it looks fabulous! Other aircraft on the ramp also included Pelita’s F100 PK
-PJN, Riau Airlines F50 PK
, Jatayu B737 PK
-JGW, Mandala B737-200 PK
-RIL, and Batayia Air B737 PK
Unknowingly, the personnel on duty today were not informed of our presence, and they kicked up a bit fuss later in the morning. After some explanation to the Officer-in-Charge after lunch, we spent some time photographing the inside of the terminal.
The afternoon session of photography was more of apron shots rather than action shots. Aircraft photographed included a Beech 1900D PK
-RGA, Merpati F100 PK
-MJA, Merpati F27 PK
-MFQ, and Garuda B737-400 PK
-GWY which delayed its departure for a few minutes as it was lined up to take off but had to wait for a 2m long lizard to cross the runway!. Before the evening is over, we are invited to follow “Commando 1” on a runway check exercise while we used the opportunity to gather photographs of rubber deposits. It was interesting, having to see the runway from the ground level.
Day 3 – Sunday 20th July 2003
Another fine morning greets us after an electrical storm the previous evening. Today our manager, Gerry, allocates spots for us to photograph. I get the rotation shots, where I am left alone for quite some time. Highlights include Pelita F100 PK
-PJN’s rotation, Star Air B737-200 PK
-ALV, Batavia Air B737-200 PK
-YTF, Garuda B737-400 PK
, Jatayu B737-200 PK
-JGP, Mandala B737-200 PK
-RIL and Merpati F27 PK
-MFQ. The rest of the guys went for some tower shots, with some shots taken from the roof of the tower, which turned out great.
The afternoon saw us crossing the runway to get to the other side, and a whole new adventure started for us. The first new thing for us was the sounding of a siren from the tower as we were a little too close to the runway for comfort. Following that, I nearly, very nearly stepped on a poisonous snake that fortunately slid away. That afternoon we photographed Lion Air’s MD82 PK
-LMR (with Continental cheatline and belly), Merpati F100 PK
-MJC, Pelita Air F100 PK
-PJN, Riau Airlines F50 PK
, Mandala B737-200 PK
-RIQ, Jatayu Airlines B737-200 PK
-JGW (6 hours delay due to tyre change), and a Bell 407 helicopter registration PK
Day 4 – Monday 21st July 2003
Our last morning in Pekanbaru saw little photography. With little to do, we checked in- and soon boarded our flight to Jakarta on Mandala Airlines B737-200 PK
. On the Jakarta ramp, the whole fleet of Garuda B747-200s was seen parked at the remote bays, together with a 747-SP D6
-OZX (Continental Wings), and a number of Kabo Air and Sempati Air B737s. From Jakarta we bid farewell to Gerry, and boarded SQ
157 B777-212 9V
-SQB to Singapore.
**That’s all Folks!**
Copyright 2003 Tsung Tsen Tsan, All Rights Reserved.
Photos and stories used with permission from Pekanbaru Airport Authority, Aaron Liu, Tzewei Pang, Gerry Soejatman and Tsung Tsen Tsan
Cameras used: Nikon D100 28-80G 80-400VR, Canon D60+EOS 3 28-105 IS
, Sony F717, Olympus C700