CHUKAI: The state wants airlines to resume commercial flights to the Petronas-owned Kerteh Airport, about 35km from here, after a lapse of two years.
Mentri Besar Datuk Idris Jusoh said he had held discussions with several airline operators and they had shown a keen interest although there was no decision from them yet.
Now, many people staying in Dungun and Kemaman are interested in taking flights from Kerteh to Kuala Lumpur as it saves time.
We are talking about small aircraft which can carry 30 or 50 passengers, he said on Sunday after a dialogue session with some 1,000 civil servants and community leaders at the Kemaman Municipal Council hall here.
Kerteh, the hub of the states petrochemical industries, is located about 135km from the Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu and about 100km from the Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport in Kuantan.
Idris said the airport, which opened in 1985, was currently used by those involved in the oil and gas industry.
It is learnt that commercial flights were terminated in October 2002 following financial problems faced by Pelangi Air.
Sources said Malaysia Airlines had introduced interim flights to the airport using Fokker-27s for about a year after the airports opening.
Pelangi Air then took over the service.
There are currently about 17 daily helicopter flights, from the airport to the oilrigs off Terengganu waters, operated by MHS Aviation Sdn Bhd on behalf of Petronas and Esso.
There are also some chartered flights from Subang, Johor Baru and Ipoh.
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