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New airport proposal a key step towards advancing Kuching, says SUPP man

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Publish date: Sat, 18 May 2024, 09:00 AM

KUCHING, May 18 — The plan to build a new international airport in Kuching is seen as a crucial step towards advancing Kuching, and also Sarawak into becoming a high-income economy, says Datuk Sim Kiang Chiok.

The Stakan branch chairman of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) also hails the present Kuching International Airport (KIA) as the third largest in Malaysia, serving six to seven airlines.

“Unfortunately, this makes it considerably smaller than Kota Kinabalu, the second largest airport in Malaysia, which accommodates a more extensive range of airlines, destinations and passengers,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Sim, also an advisor to the Sarawak Housing Estate Developers Association (Sheda) Kuching, said with the establishment of Sarawak’s own airline and the implementation of a more relaxed open sky policy, air traffic within Sarawak could be anticipated to grow exponentially.

“To meet this demand, the government is responsibly planning for a new, modern, and larger airport.

“The timing and location of the airport are critical for its success as a regional aviation hub.

“Given the considerable time required from planning to completion, initiating the planning process now is essential,” he added.

The location of the airport, said Sim, must serve as a nucleus for growth, while ensuring strategic accessibility to Kuching at the minimal cost to users.

He further described developing an ecosystem to support increased traffic and arrivals as ‘being paramount’.

“This includes addressing accommodation needs, such as the construction of additional hotels, as well as expanding services such as food outlets, shopping facilities, taxi services, and attractions to accommodate the anticipated rise in travellers coming to Kuching and Sarawak,” he added.

Previously, Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised the necessity of constructing a new international airport in Kuching due to the increasing air traffic in Sarawak, highlighting the insufficiency of current facilities at the KIA.

“We are studying plans to build a new international airport due to the increase in our (air) traffic.

“We are also looking at the international airport building now, I think there are not enough facilities with the increase in the number of flights and passenger traffic,” he told reporters when met during the just-concluded Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting.

Abang Johari also said the Sarawak government planned to develop a new international airport following the acquisition of MASwings. — The Borneo Post

 

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2024/05/18/new-airport-proposal-a-key-step-towards-advancing-kuching-says-supp-man/135051

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