MAHB to push for upgrading of Kuching, Miri airports


Zainun (right) presents a memento to Lee.

KUCHING (Sept 23): The optimisation plan for Kuching International Airport (KIA) and Miri Airport will be based on the existing agreement between the Sarawak government and the federal Ministry for Transport.

Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) general manager for Planning, Development, Standard and Safety Department Mohd Khairuddin Shafie, said this was because the major infrastructure upgrading for both airports will be funded by the federal government.

“MAHB will continuously push for the upgrading of the two airports since it has passed the design capacity,” he said at a meeting between the state Ministry of Transport (MOTS) and MAHB in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The delegation from MOTS led by its Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin held a formal meeting with MAHB board chairman Tan Sri Datuk Zainun Ali.

In a statement by MOTS, Lee highlighted issues surrounding airports in Sarawak, particularly on KIA, Sibu Airport, Bintulu, Airport, Miri Airport and some of the smaller ones such as Mulu Airport and stolports connected by the Rural Air Service (RAS).

The issues were quite pertinent in promoting Sarawak as an important tourism and investment hub, the statement said.

In response, Zainun said she will ensure her team will do their best to support the upgrading of the airports in the state.

“Currently, MAHB CAPEX (capital expenditure) 2023 for Sarawak airport includes KIA at RM2.3 million, Miri (RM6.15 million), Sibu (RM6 million), Bintulu (RM12.9 million), Mukah (RM90,000) and Mulu at RM500,000.

“Among the projects covered under the 2023 CAPEX are upgrading of toilets, installation of new signages and the refurbishment/replacement of the aerobridges in Miri and Bintulu.

“Additional aerobridges will be added to the MAHB 2024 CAPEX especially for Miri Airport proposed extension,” said Mohd Khairuddin.

Meanwhile, Lee said the Sarawak government is in the midst of elevating the public transportation system, adding that the development of airports in the state were part of the strategies in achieving an interconnected sustainable transport system for the state.

He also expressed his appreciation to MAHB for its support of Sarawak requests and looks forward to greater cooperation.