Sarawak needs wider air connectivity — Jabu
by Geryl Ogilvy Ruekeith. Posted on October 4, 2010, Monday
KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang has called for an increase in flight routes and frequencies within the rural areas and secondary towns in the state.
He said with the projected increase in agricultural development and implementation of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), there would be surge in economic activities and population in the near future.
Hence, air inter-connectivity of these areas with the outside world would give growth and development a shot in the arm.
“SCORE will inject economic growth and increase the income of the locals. The vast development in many areas can be aided with proper and efficient air connectivity. For example, Kapit division, which would be fully developed due to SCORE, will certainly need an airstrip,” he added.
“Ulu Baram, being one of the agropolitian areas in Telang Usan, is another potential growth area. The capacity of its airfield is quite limited now but within the next 10 years its growth and development would require a bigger airstrip. These also include Belaga, Bakun and Murum dam areas which certainly need service by air,” he said when officiating at MASwings’ third anniversary here on Saturday.
Jabu said he would raise the issue with the government soon.
“In addition, the increase in economic activities in the BIMP-EAGA (East Asean Growth Area) would see more movements in the region. So, our airlines should be extended to tackle flight problems,” he said.
Jabu also suggested that the government consider allowing MASwings to collaborate with airlines from Indonesia and the Philippines to extend its services within the region.
He added that he would take it up with the Transport Ministry to permit MASwings to play a greater role than what they were currently doing.