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Time for new Kuching airport, says Abang Jo
Published on: Wednesday, May 15, 2024
By: FMT
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Time for new Kuching airport, says Abang Jo
Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg said the state government will hold talks with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd regarding a possible partnership to develop the new airport.
PETALING JAYA: Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg said the state is looking into whether it should develop a new international airport in Kuching.

Abang Johari said that while the state government has yet to discuss how the existing Kuching International Airport (KIA) will be utilised if a new international airport is built in the city, he suggested that it could be used for private planes.

“I feel it’s time for us to see (whether we should) develop a new airport (in Kuching). The current airport is beyond its capacity,” he told reporters in Kuching today.

KIA’s terminal is capable of handling 5.3 million passengers annually, making it the fourth busiest airport in Malaysia.

Abang Johari added that the state government will hold talks with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) regarding a possible partnership to develop the new airport.

MAHB’s website states that KIA, which was built by the British in the 1940s and is located 11km south of Kuching, is also an airbase for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

Last month, state tourism, creative industry and performing arts minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said facilities in Sarawak airports, especially in KIA, needed to be upgraded so that they would be on par with international airports in other countries.

In a report in The Borneo Post, he stressed that KIA should have quality facilities such as good toilets and check-in counters as it is an international airport.

Karim said that since the number of people passing through KIA had exceeded previous projections, there was a need for it to be upgraded into a bigger airport.

“But before it gets to that stage, it is not wrong to make sure that the available facilities are suitable,” he said.

“Personally, I see that our airports need a lot of upgrading. From what I saw, I was very disappointed.”

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