"Initially Garuda is studying to set up the Garuda Maintenance Facility at Kuala Namo International Airport in North Sumatra but finally it chooses Hang Nadim," Batam Free Trade Zone Authority (BP Batam) spokesman Ilham Eka said here on Tuesday.

He said they need 48 hectares of land for the facility but initially they would only develop 15 hectares of it and they would need 400 to 600 workers.

"The signing of the cooperation agreement will be done by BP Batam and Garuda Indonesia," he said.

With Garuda`s presence Hang Nadim would have three aircraft maintenance facilities namely the GMF, the MRO belonging to Lion Group and PT Indonesia Aero Maintenance (IAM).

Lion Group, he said, has already started its first phase development project on a four-hectare land while IAM plans to start the development in September.

PT IAM, he said, would also set up a school to support airline industry development at Hang Nadim.

"No more facilities will likely be added as the land allocated for them totaling 150 hectares has been used up by the three companies," he said.

The Hang Nadim international airport on Batam Island located about 20 kilometers south of Singapore has a 4,025 kilometer long runway. This is what has probably made the companies to decide to set up the facilities here, he said.

"Its free trade zone status is also a supporting factor for companies wishing to develop industries in Batam," he said.