Kuching International Airport Upgrade Progresses with Land Acquisition Proposal

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) are moving forward with plans to upgrade the Kuching International Airport (KIA) by acquiring land owned by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA). The land acquisition is a crucial step for the airport improvement project.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Hasbi Habibollah announced that the ministry would submit an application to secure funds for the land acquisition in the Fifth Rolling Plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) next year. The land, located adjacent to KIA, will be needed for the expansion project. Existing facilities in the area will need to be relocated to the SMA land before the upgrade can commence.

Hasbi provided these details during a session in the Dewan Negara while responding to a question about MAHB’s plans to upgrade KIA and Miri Airport. The decision to upgrade KIA and Miri Airport comes as Sarawak experiences a growing number of tourists.

KIA’s current terminal has a capacity of five million passengers per year (mppa), but it exceeded its design capacity by 19% in 2019, with 5.9 mppa recorded. In 2022, KIA served 4.3 million passengers.

The proposed upgrade of Miri Airport aims to increase its terminal capacity from two million passengers per year to three million per year. While the project was initially listed as a priority under the Fourth Rolling Plan of the 12MP, it will be included in the Fifth Rolling Plan application in the coming year, considering the latest announcement of Budget 2024.

The expansion and enhancement of these airports are expected to improve the state’s aviation infrastructure, accommodate increasing passenger numbers, and enhance the travel experience for tourists and residents alike.

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