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Tawau Airport study ready April
Published on: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

TAWAU: The consultant for the proposed Tawau Airport upgrading work has been appointed and the study is expected to be ready by April, said General Manager of Malaysia Airports Sdn Bhd (MASB), Kamaruzzaman Razali.

The study would include having meetings with all airlines in order to get effective input for the benefit of Tawau airports development.

“Consultant had been appointed and only after it is completed, we will know the exact estimated passengers and how much the upgrading work cost,” he said after Royal Brunei Airlines inaugural flight to Tawau.

Kamaruzzaman said they would look into all aspects to meet the international flight needs as Tawau Airport was designed for domestic flights and MASB must comply with standard requirements by Civil Airport Authority Malaysia (CAAM), namely both domestic and international passengers must be isolated.

“In this very short time, we have made several steps to differentiate the passengers but we need a proper plan so that Tawau Airport would be able to receive more passengers in the future,” he added. 

According to him, Tawau Airport is the fourth busiest domestic airport in Malaysia which recorded 1.64 million passenger movements in 2018.

“From January until September 2019, we have seen over 1.38 million passenger movements through this airport which represented an impressive 15.5 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. We believe we will continue to grow further with the support of Royal Brunei Airlines and other airlines. This is also supported with all the great attractions and offerings in Sabah that has drawn many tourists both locally and abroad,” he said.

Kamaruzzaman said Tawau Airport was constructed to support a capacity of 1.4 million passengers per annum, however, they have since surpassed that figure and is now in the midst of proposing an airport expansion plan to increase capacity to 2.5 million passengers per annum. 

He said this expansion would complement the collaboration between Malaysia Airports and Tourism Malaysia’s Joint International Tourism Development Programme (JITDP) in marketing and promotion of tourism to Malaysia in fulfilling the aspiration of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020).

“All these upgrades will definitely complement the operation of Royal Brunei Airlines that fly into Tawau Airport six times weekly with their ATR 72 aircraft from Bandar Seri Begawan,” he said.

Meanwhile, the General Manager of Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Noredah Othman hoped the launching of Royal Brunei Airlines to Tawau could help in achieving the target of four million to Sabah this year.

“The six-times-a-week operation of one hour flights will boost the state tourism industry,” she said.

RBA celebrated the launch of its inaugural flight to Tawau with flight BI 6845 from Bandar Seri Begawan which landed about 6.35pm with 15 first passengers, Tuesday. – Lagatah Toyos



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