RM70mil allocation to upgrade Sandakan airport

SANDAKAN: The Federal Government has allocated RM70mil to upgrade Sandakan airport for the comfort of air travellers, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.

He said the project would, among others, involve the expansion of the terminal building by 3,000 sq m, the improvement of facilities at departure areas and waiting lounge, immigration counters, bag scanning area and increasing the number of parking bays and the installation of air-conditioning system for the entire building.

“It will start as soon as possible this year after the draft plan is ready. Malaysia Airports has given us the necessary input. The project will be ready in 18 months,” he said after making a working visit to the airport here yesterday.

Kong said the project was needed as the airport handled 820,000 passengers last year, or an increase of 5.8% from 2011, and was set to further grow in future.

“If the trend continues to rise at 6% every year, it is estimated that by 2020, this airport will run out of capacity. With this upgrade, it will be able to fulfil future needs,” he said.

Also present were Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Rahim Bakri, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong and Malaysia Airports managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad.

The upgrade, said Kong, also reflected the Federal Government’s willingness to spur development in Sabah under the Government Transformation Plan. — Bernama

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