Warisan welcomes KKIA staying put in KK

KOTA KINABALU: A new terminal for the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) is the right move as relocating the airport to southwestern Kimanis or Tuaran is not convenient, says Parti Warisan.

Parti Warisan's wirawati wing information chief Izzatul Aini (pic) said that the party supported Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's proposal for a new terminal at KKIA to cope with the fast-growing passenger traffic.

"On behalf of Wirawati Warisan, I extend my appreciation to the Prime Minister, Transport Minister Anthony Loke and relevant Federal Government agencies that have taken notice of our objection to the relocation plan.

"The announcement is indeed welcomed by the Penampang, Kota Kinabalu and Sepangar residents who don't want to see the relocation take place, especially to Putatan as 60% of the labour force in KKIA is from this district," she said.

Izzatul however asked the state government to clarify its position on whether they were still considering or scrapping its plans to relocate the airport to the Kimanis area about 60km from here.

"The state government is obliged to confirm the status of the KKIA relocation plan to Kimanis and whether it will still take place even after the announcement by the Federal Government," she said Saturday (Dec 9).

She also said the state should clarify the talk that it was also looking at a possible site in the northern Tuaran district as an alternative site for the international airport.

Izzatul said that the state government must make it clear to the people on the matter as even the business communities and airline industry players and their employees need to know.

Warisan was against relocating KKIA with its deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking in September this year stating that there was no problem maintaining an international airport within the city as countries like Thailand and the Philippines kept their international airports in their capitals to meet the needs of passengers.

Leiking had suggested that KKIA be extended towards the sea to accommodate longer runways with additional terminals similar to Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong.

Izzatul said that the Federal Government could build a new additional airport at Sipitang as part of a strategic economic plan to rejuvenate the southwestern part of Sabah that borders Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei.

"Sabah has airports at Sandakan and Tawau to serve the East Coast folks so obviously we should also have an airport at Sipitang.

"It is more sensible and prudent to build a new additional airport at Sipitang than to build one at Tuaran as a matter of priority - it (new Sipitang airport) can serve the people and students from surrounding districts such as Tenom, Pensiangan, Beaufort and so on who wishes to travel elsewhere by air," she added.

She said Sipitang's potential as the new investment and trade centre for southern Sabah region.

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