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MAHB gets cracking on upgrade: Work on KKIA over three-year period to also include runway and multi-storey car park
Published on: Thursday, February 08, 2024
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MAHB gets cracking on upgrade: Work on KKIA over three-year period to also include runway and multi-storey car park
Liew (4th left) receiving a framed picture from Mohamed. On her left is Lai.
Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) will implement an initial RM45 million action plan for the upgrading and development of Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 1, which will be done this year.

MAHB Acting Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mohd Rastam Shahrom presented the action plan to State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew during a courtesy call by a six-member delegation led by him on Tuesday.

Briefing the Minister on the Airport Development Masterplan, he outlined efforts to modernise and enhance existing facilities as well as long-term development plans to address growing passenger volume in stages.

“We (MAHB) are committed to our Masterplan for KKIA, which has been designed to ensure the airport’s continuous expansion in tandem with forecasted passenger volume growth over the long term.

“MAHB is currently driving several initiatives to optimise airport operations’ efficiency. We started in December 2023, and will deliver the packages in phases to be completed within this year,” Mohamed assured.

These include airport ambience enhancements by modernising and revitalising key passenger touchpoints at KKIA such as elevating air quality and temperature standards, amplifying the PA system for enhanced communications, refurbishing prayer rooms and washroom facilities, optimising seating arrangements, increasing F&B offerings, and improving trolley and buggy services for passenger comfort and convenience.

“We completed Phase One of passenger seat refurbishment and added 250 trolleys at the end of last year. In the next nine months, we will complete the refurbishment of 52 existing toilets (26 male and 26 female), and the surau as well, apart from tinted insulation to reduce heat,” said the Acting Group CEO.

The Acting Group CEO also briefed Liew on the future development of KKIA over a timeline of three years (2024-2026) in two phases (1st phase within 12 to 18 months, and second phase from 18 to 36 months). “MAHB will be proposing to the government a development plan to increase the airport’s capacity from 10 million passengers per annum (mmpa) to 12 mmpa by 2026-2027,” he said.

According to him, the scope of works under the Airport Development 12 MPPA Plan (2024-2026) encompasses renovation and extension of the existing main Terminal building, extension of the international pier, infrastructure works (landside) and infrastructure works (airside). 

“Landside infrastructure works involve upgrading of the airport access road, and the development of a new multi-storey car park, while airside infrastructure works entail providing an additional aircraft parking apron to accommodate seven aircraft with the total of 33 aircraft parking bays.”

This proposal is integral to MAHB’s long-term masterplan to accommodate the increasing passenger volumes at KKIA, with the ultimate goal of scaling the airport’s capacity to 21 mmpa by 2044, Mohamed added.

Mohamed said several airport infrastructure enhancements are also in progress, geared towards better efficiency and functionality. 

These include upgrading the airport runway and taxiway, refurbishing air conditioning chillers, bolstering Wi-Fi connectivity, refurbishing existing passenger boarding bridges (PBB) and installing new ones, improving check-in facilities, and strengthening security fencing and CCTV Systems.

Liew described it as long-awaited news. “I thank them for taking up the upgrading and development plan to address the issues surrounding KKIA.

“I was informed by the Acting Group CEO that MAHB is committing an investment of RM45 million to deliver the said initiatives, with a clear mandate to complete them before the end of 2024. 

“This encouraging move is great news for the people of Sabah who deserve an upgraded international airport, being the second busiest in the country.

“Collectively, those initiatives to optimise the airport’s operations efficiency levels are expected to immediately increase KKIA’s capacity by one million passengers per annum (mppa), from its current 9 mppa to 10 mmpa,” Liew said.

Given the influx of international tourists from South Korea, China and Singapore, among others, and Sabah’s target of three million  tourist arrivals set for 2024, the initiatives are most timely, she added.

Liew stressed that modernising and expansion of KKIA would support the State Government’s efforts in positioning Sabah as an international tourist destination. 

“This underscores MAHB’s intent to furnish an iconic and state-of-the-art airport infrastructure befitting the stature of Kota Kinabalu as the gateway to Sabah.”

She thanked the Federal and State Governments for the initiatives, especially Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who was consistent in pushing for the upgrading and development of the KKIA.

“I look forward to the completion of the development plan within three years as discussed and promised by MAHB. It has been a long wait and I am glad it finally happens.”

Also present at the meeting were the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Josie Lai, Chief Operating Officer (Airport Operations Malaysia) Gordon A. Stewart, Director, Stakeholder Relations & Regulatory Affairs (Managing Director’s Office), Datuk Abdullah Kadir Bacha, General Manager (Planning, Development, Standard & Safety), Ir. Ts. Mohd Khairuddin Shafie, Malaysia Airports Sdn Bhd (MASB) Senior General Manager Kamaruzzaman Razali, and MASB Senior Airport Manager KKIA) Hj Jefry Ramli.

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