Plans in Progress to Upgrade and Expand Sarawak Airports

February 2024

The Sarawak Transport Ministry (MOTS) has initiated efforts to enhance aviation infrastructure in the region by submitting upgrade proposals for Kuching International Airport (KIA) and Miri Airport to the Federal Transport Ministry. These proposals aim to meet the increasing demand for air travel and enhance passenger experience.

Given the rise in international flights, especially from Jakarta, Singapore, and various Chinese provinces, KIA and Miri Airport play crucial roles as the Southern and Northern Gateways to Sarawak, respectively. Malaysia Airport Holding Berhad (MAHB), responsible for managing various airports in Malaysia, including those in Sarawak, has outlined plans to boost KIA’s annual passenger capacity to 7.7 million and Miri Airport’s to 3 million. MAHB has allocated MYR 27.6 million (USD 5.7 million) for capital expenditure in 2023, with an additional MYR 17 million (USD 3.5 million) earmarked for projects until the first quarter of 2024. These projects involve enhancements to airports and Short Take-Off and Landing ports across multiple locations, including Miri, Sibu, Bintulu, Limbang, and Lawas.

Several completed projects, such as restroom refurbishments at KIA, replacement of Passenger Boarding Bridges in Miri and Bintulu, and carpet renovations in Sibu, demonstrate ongoing efforts to upgrade airport facilities. Additionally, the runway extension project at Bario short take-off and landing airport (STOLport) is currently in the planning stages under the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR), with an approved budget of MYR 28 million (USD 5.8 million). Looking ahead to 2024, MAHB plans to implement various projects, including pavement resurfacing, additional PBB installations for Miri, Airfield Ground Lighting enhancements, and electrical and IT upgrades in Miri, Mulu, Bintulu, and Kuching. MAHB’s comprehensive development project plan for Sarawak reflects a significant investment aimed at advancing the region’s aviation capabilities.

(Sources: The Borneo Post; Dayak Daily)

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