KUALA LUMPUR: The Transport Ministry and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) have plans to acquire land owned by the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) to enable the project to upgrade the Kuching International Airport (KIA) to be carried out.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Hasbi Habibollah (pic) said an application would be submitted by the ministry to request the funds to acquire the land, which is next to KIA, under the Fifth Rolling Plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan (MP12) next year.
"The plan to upgrade KIA can only be implemented after the land is acquired. This is because there are some existing facilities located in the area that need to be moved out first to the SMA land,” he said.
He said this during the question and answer session in Dewan Negara in response to a question from Senator Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim on MAHB's plans to upgrade KIA and Miri Airport following the increasing number of tourists entering Sarawak.
According to Hasbi, the current capacity of the existing terminal at KIA is five million passengers per year (mppa), with passenger movement recorded at 5.9 mppa, which is 19 per cent above its design capacity in 2019.
He said KIA handled 4.3 million passengers in 2022.
Regarding the proposed upgrading of Miri Airport, Hasbi said the ministry had listed the project as its priority under the Fourth Rolling Plan of MP12.
"This proposal involves increasing the capacity of the terminal from two million passengers per year to three million per year. However, taking into account the latest announcement of the Budget 2024, the ministry will submit the application in the Fifth Rolling Plan of MP12 next year,’ he added.- Bernama