Transport in East Timor

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A Baucau–Dili bus on national road A01, 2018

In East Timor, transportation is reduced due to the nation's poverty, poor transportation infrastructure, and sparse communications networks.

There are no railways in the country. The general condition of the roads is inadequate, and telephone and Internet capabilities are limited outside the cities. The country has six airports, one of which has commercial and international flights.


East Timor has no railways. However, a master plan for a 500 km (310 mi) long electrified double-track railway was proposed in 2012, with a central line from Bobonaro to Lospalos, a western corridor from Dili to Betano and an eastern corridor from Baucau to Uatolari.[1][2]



East Timor has a road network of 6,041 km (3,754 mi), of which about 2,600 km (1,600 mi) of roads are paved, and about 3,440 km (2,140 mi) are unpaved.

The road network is made up of national roads linking municipal capitals (~1,500 km (930 mi)), municipal roads linking municipal capitals to towns and villages (~870 km (540 mi)), urban roads within urban areas (~717 km (446 mi)) and rural roads within rural areas (~3,112 km (1,934 mi)).[3] In a 2015 survey reported by the World Bank, 57% of the rural roads were rated either bad or poor.

National roads[edit]

East Timor has 20 arterial roads, designated as A-class roads (national roads), as follows:[4]

No From To Length
A01 Dili Com, Lautém 203.9 126.7
A02<1 Dili Suai 176.4 109.6
A03 Dili Mota Ain 118.2 73.4
A03' Batugade Maliana 42.4 26.3
A04 Tibar [de] Ermera 46.8 29.1
A05 Aitotu [de] Betano 55.6 34.5
A06 Baucau Viqueque 64.9 40.3
A07 Viqueque Natarbora [de] 46.0 28.6
A08 Lautém Viqueque 121.7 75.6
A09 Manatuto Natarbora [de] 79.5 49.4
A10 Ermera Hauba [de] 66.9 41.6
A11 Maliana Ermera 64.7 40.2
A12 Zumalai Maliana 52.5 32.6
A13 Cassa Aiassa [de] 25.1 15.6
A14 Betano Natarbora [de] 47.7 29.6
A15 Suai Uemassa 27.5 17.1
A16 Uele'o Tilomar [de] 33.4 20.8
A17 Pante Macassar Oesilo 25.3 15.7
A18 Pante Macassar Citrana 44.9 27.9
A19 Pante Macassar Sacato 14.8 9.2
Total 1,358.2 843.9

In October 2016, the East Timorese government symbolically launched a rehabilitation project for the DiliManatutoBaucau national road. Construction was to be undertaken in two sections, Dili–Manatuto, and Manatuto–Baucau, in each case by a Chinese construction company. The project was financed by the General State Budget, and also from a loan fund from the Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It was due to be completed in mid-2019,[2] and the completed road was officially inaugurated on 26 August 2022.[5]

According to a road network connectivity quality assessment published in September 2019, the national road network already satisfactorily connected all national activity centres for all types of vehicles in circulation. However, some of the road segments needed to be improved, in terms of road width, drainage, geometric design and traffic facilities.[6]


CPLP Bridge during the dry season in 2019
CPLP Bridge during the dry season in 2019
Bridges in Dili

Two road bridges over the Comoro River link central Dili with the west side of the city, including the Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport and the Tibar Bay port, which as at early 2022 was due to start operations later that year. The more important of these two bridges is the CPLP Bridge; its alternative, approximately 800 m (2,600 ft) to its south, is the Hinode Bridge.[7]

At the north eastern corner of central Dili, the B. J. Habibie Bridge spans the Claran River [de], and connects central Dili with the eastern waterfront of the Bay of Dili.[8]

Noefefan Bridge

This bridge, also known as the Tono Bridge, was inaugurated in 2017 as part of the ZEESM TL project in Oecusse.

Ports and harbors[edit]

Merchant marine[edit]

Liberian flagged general cargo ship ANL Timor Trader being unloaded at the Port of Dili, 2018


  • 1

Ships by type

  • passenger/cargo 1 (2010)


In July 2022, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, urged the government of East Timor to open a shipping route between Kupang, Dili, and Darwin, to boost sea lane connectivity.[11]


Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili
Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili

As of 2019, East Timor had eight airports. The three major ones were the Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili, the Cakung or Baucau Airport in Baucau, and the Suai Airport in Suai. Only the first two of these were designed as international airports.[12]

The Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili is the main international airport. Commercial scheduled service is also provided at Suai Airport and Oecusse Airport.[13] Local airports include Baucau Airport and Viqueque Airport.

No airport in East Timor is officially available for night operations, but the government permits such operations in emergencies.[12]


8 (2012)


  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from The World Factbook. CIA.
  1. ^ Ricardo Nunes: East-Timor Rail Master Plan. Presented by Lafaek Besi Lda, Development Company, Dilii, Timor-Leste in May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Ministry of Public Works rehabilitates the Dili-Manatuto-Baucau road". Government of Timor-Leste. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  3. ^ "2.3 Timor-Leste Road Network - Logistics Capacity Assessment - Digital Logistics Capacity Assessments". World Food Programme. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  4. ^ "The Project for the Capacity Development of Road Works in Timor: Outline of the Project | Technical Cooperation Projects". Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  5. ^ "National Road No.1, Closely Connecting Dili and Baucau, Opens Under Timor-Leste's First Loan Project". Japan International Cooperation Agency. 29 August 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  6. ^ Babo, Frans de Jesus; Suprayitno, Hitapriya (September 2019). "Road Network Connectivity Quality Assesment [sic] for Timor Leste National Road Network". Journal of Infrastructure and Facility Asset Management. 1 (2): 113–212, at 120. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Opening Ceremony of "Hinode Bridge"". Japan International Cooperation Agency. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  8. ^ coilNEWS (29 August 2019). "Foto: Peresmian Jembatan BJ Habibie di Dili, Timor Leste" [Photo: Inauguration of the BJ Habibie Bridge in Dili, Timor Leste]. kumparan (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Tibar Bay Port construction reaches 92% and enters into operation on September 30th". Government of Timor-Leste. 21 September 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  10. ^ Bruno, Margherita (3 October 2022). "Timor Port starts ops at new Tibar Bay port". Port Technology International. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  11. ^ D, Mentari; Kurmala, Azis (19 July 2022). "Jokowi urges Timor-Leste to open Kupang-Dili-Darwin shipping route". Antara News. Antara. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  12. ^ a b Nippon Koei Co., Ltd (NK) [in Japanese] (November 2019). Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste: Preliminary Assessment for Dili Airport Runway Upgrading Project. Asian Development Bank (Report). p. 2–3. Project Number: 52320-001. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  13. ^ "ZEESM Timor-Leste". Tourism Timor-Leste. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2022.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Transport in East Timor at Wikimedia Commons