Monday, August 10

New Lawas airport to enhance Sarawak, Sabah’s economy

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MIRI: The construction of the new airport for Lawas in Limbang division under 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) will boost the economic, social and tourism potentials of Sarawak and Sabah.

Lawas Member of Parliament Datuk Henry Sum Agong said the existing Lawas airport was too small and the runway was always hit by floods during the rainy season forcing it to be closed, sometimes up to one week.

“It also can only accommodate the Twin Otter aircraft and with the new airport bigger aircraft can operate in Lawas,” he told Bernama when commenting on the proposal to construct the new Lawas airport under the 11MP.

Currently only the 17-seater Twin Otter aircraft operated by Maswings provide the Rural Air Service (RAS) to Lawas.

He said at the moment Lawas had huge potentials in the tourism industry but the limited flights there made this northern Sarawak region quite difficult to promote as a tourism destination.

He said since Lawas shared its border with Sipitang Sabah, many areas of joint cooperation between the two states could be explored further.

“We can also explore potentials beyond Sarawak and Sabah like Kalimantan Indonesia if bigger aircraft can land in the new Lawas airport,” he said.

He said the proposed new airport was long overdue with the site being identified a long time ago and once operational it is expected to accommodate the 72-seat ATR 72 operated by Maswings. -Bernama