The Construction of New Airport at the Coast of Kulon Progo To Be Questioned

Dr. Hadi Suyono, S.Psi., M.Si.


Head of Clinic for Community Empowerment

Faculty of Psychology, University of Ahmad Dahlan Yogyakarta


The case of refusal from the local people living at coastal area in southern part of Kulonprogo on the building of a new international airport at the area is similar to the cases of building public facilities in other regions in Indonesia.

The cases suggest that there may be a big problem underlying the development. Though the public facilities are really beneficial for public, some local people neglect it.

The Distrust to The Authority

The reluctant situation of local community to handover their land for the development of public service seems to show that the people’s commitment for the development is weak. Moreover, the social feeling and solidarity seem fade away.

In addition to the above fact, there is a question if it is a common case. The answer is it is not always the case. It may be solidarity and social feeling in the community are still strong. It proves that in the case of natural disaster people help each other hand in hand.

But in the case of issues related to the policy set by the authority holders, some local people refuse them. The number such cases needs investigating deeply i.e. if there is a problem with the authority.


The Existence of Social Cognition

The cause of local community refusal on the plans of public facilities seems to root from the local community distrust to the authority. This case may be caused by the growing social cognition among the community such as the facilities do not directly meet their need and do not directly improve their welfare. The construction of such public facilities for them may harm the local wisdom and marginate them.

Furthermore, the facilities are advantageous for certain people having vested interest to enrich themselves. Proofs say that policy makers, legislators, politicians, and business tycoons earn much money from the existence of the facilities. This fact urges the anti-corruption board to take an action and many of them are imprisoned. 


The Case of the New International Airport Construction in Kulonprogo

Learning from the cases, the construction of new international airport in Kulonprogo faces the same problem i.e. the local people distrust to the authority. They believe that the construction cannot directly bring their prosperity.

On the contrary, they believe that the impact of the construction is that the people will lose their earnings as farmers. They depend on the land so that the construction will force them to hand over the only land for farming.

Culturally, like any other farmers, the farmers in the area depend on the land so that they consider the land as their life. So far the people have changed the arid land into fertile one. Now they successfully produce melons, watermelons, chilly, onions and other commodities.

Their settled life as farmers is worried as they know the plan of new international airport construction in the area. They are afraid of losing their job as farmers. They will lose their earnings. This is one of the reason why they refuse the plan.

Although there is an idea of involving those who lose the land in the development they do not believe it because it is not that easy to change their profession. They have been accustomed to being farmers and more independent. Suddenly they have to follow a system of routine work, which need much obedience. This is difficult for them.

This trait makes us understand why people in the area are against the the construction of the airport in Kulonprogo.