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  • Strengthening COVID-19 Prevention, AP II Prepares BSL 2 Standard PCR Test Laboratory at Soekarno-Hatta Airport

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Strengthening COVID-19 Prevention, AP II Prepares BSL 2 Standard PCR Test Laboratory at Soekarno-Hatta Airport

28 Sep 2021

Minister of Transportation reviews the handling of international arrivals at Terminal 3


Jakarta - The Minister of Transportation conducted a direct inspection at Terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Tuesday (28/9). During the review, the Minister of Transportation ensured that the international arrival process for airplane passengers was in accordance with existing directions, and that health protocols were implemented properly.

"Controlling international passengers at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, PT Angkasa Pura II has done very well. PT Angkasa Pura II has provided 3 (three) holding bays before international passengers perform the PCR test, and 2 waiting bays for passengers to wait for the results of the PCR test so that there is no buildup," said Minister of Transportation Budi Karya.

As is known, Soekarno-Hatta Airport enforces international arrival procedures that refer to the Circular of the Ministry of Transportation Number 77/2021 in which international travelers using air transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic must perform a PCR test at the airport upon arrival to prevent an increase in COVID-19 transmission. -19, including the new SARS-CoV-2 virus variant that has mutated into Alpha variant, Beta variant, Delta variant, Gamma variant and Mu variant (B.1.621) as well as the potential for the development of other new variants.

Furthermore, the Minister of Transportation said that in the future, the PCR testing process will be strengthened so that it can shorten the time for passengers arriving at Soekarno-Hatta to carry out health checks.

"I ask the parties involved in handling the arrival of international passengers to add a PCR test kit so that it can reduce the time for arriving passengers to undergo a health check at the airport," explained Minister of Transportation Budi Karya.

The Minister of Transportation said that AP II is preparing a test laboratory that will be ready within the next 2 weeks.

The test laboratory prepared at Soekarno-Hatta Airport is a test laboratory with a Bio Safety Level 2 (BSL 2) standard so that the implementation of PCR tests for international passengers who have just landed at Terminal 3 can be carried out more massively with test results known in just 1 hour.

AP II President Director Muhammad Awaluddin said the BSL 2 standardized test laboratory is capable of conducting PCR tests for around 700 - 1,000 airplane passengers per hour or much more than the current capacity of 200 passengers per hour.

"The existence of a BSL 2 standard test laboratory allows more PCR tests to be carried out on airplane passengers from abroad who have just landed at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, and the results of the PCR test are known to be faster, which is within 1 hour."

"Airplane passengers from abroad who arrive at Soekarno-Hatta Airport also don't take too long to process international arrivals," said Muhammad Awaluddin.

This BSL 2 standard test laboratory further strengthens the application of Biosafety Management at Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The Biosafety Management launched by AP II to prevent and deal with COVID-19 consists of several programs, namely laboratory testing facilities, biohazard precautions, environment screening, infrastructure sterilization and public health assurance.

Laboratory operations and the PCR test implementation process will be supported by the use of information technology to support the international arrival process.

In addition, continued Muhammad Awaluddin, the existence of this test laboratory is also an effort to tighten inspections for airplane passengers who come from high-risk countries.

Meanwhile, in the international arrivals area of ​​Terminal 3, there have also been additional PCR test booths for airplane passengers, from 10 to 20 booths.

Flight restrictions
Before the test laboratory was operational, the Ministry of Transportation and AP II made a number of international flight arrangements to avoid the accumulation of passengers in the international arrivals area of ​​Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

"There is a restriction on passenger arrivals, this is done in order to maximize control over the handling of international passenger arrivals," explained Minister of Transportation Budi Karya.

In addition, the Minister of Transportation requested the integration of aircraft passenger data to facilitate the process of international arrivals at the airport.

"Data integration with Air Operator Certificate / AOC holders (airlines) will allow the system to record international passengers who will land so that the process at the airport will be simplified," explained the Minister of Transportation.

All stakeholders at Soekarno-Hatta Airport are committed to strictly implementing health protocols to support the handling of COVID-19.