MIRI: The Transport Ministry is expected to start work to upgrade Miri Airport by this year to better serve passengers, said Assistant Minister of Communication Datuk Lee Kim Shin.
Being a resort city, he said, it was important that Miri had good facilities, such as an airport,
which was able to function efficiently to cater to the needs of its visitors and business community.
“We hope the upgrading can start as soon as possible,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the proposed upgrading work for Miri Airport by Zailan Jauhari, the special officer to acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Malaysia Airport Berhad (MAB) officials here yesterday.
He said Miri city also needed the airport to be upgraded because it served as the hub of all rural air services with the most number of flights to the rural areas, including routes to Bario, Ba’kelalan, Marudi, Lawas, Limbang and Mukah.
Lee said Miri Airport now needed separate terminals catering to domestic,international and rural air services including separate check-in counters, the departure hall and arrival lounges.
He said Miri Airport registered a growing passengers’ traffic volume with more than two million passengers using the airport since 2012.
Miri Airport currently handles more passengers than its maximum capacity of only two million domestic passengers annually, he said.
He was confident that more international direct flights would use Miri Airport as as one of it landing points once upgrading works were completed as presently Miri has two international direct flights to Singapore and China.
The proposed upgrading work of airports in Sarawak and Sabah was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when tabling the Budget 2014 last year.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said airports in Miri, Sibu and Mukah in Sarawak as well as Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan in Sabah would be upgraded. — Bernama