Sunday, April 02, 2006

RM1 billion to upgrade Kota Kinabalu International Airport

By Arman Gunsika

KOTA KINABALU - The State government is set to receive more than RM1 billion to upgrade the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) which also aims to become the second largest low-cost carrier hub in the country.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said once the airport expansion is completed, the KKIA will become one of the biggest and most beautiful airports which can also receive the biggest passenger aircraft such as the Airbus 380.

The State government welcomed the Federal government's intention to make the airport the second biggest low-cost carrier in the country, after the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The plan is suitable as the KKIA can become one of such hubs through which tourists can come to Sabah, he said.

Last year, Musa was reported as saying that the KKIA runaway would be extended by nearly one kilometre from the present 2,988 metres to 3,780 metres while the parking apron enlarged to accommodate four Boeing 747s, one Airbus 330, seven Boeing 737s, three Fokker 50s and Twin Otters at any one time.

The new LCC terminal would be able to accommodate five Airbus 320s simultaneously, he said.

Earlier, Musa declared open the Lembah Impian Country Homes in Kg. Kandazon in Penampang. He urged bumiputra entrepreneurs to take a more proactive role in promoting the State's economy to many areas including tourism.

He said the Federal government's applied allocation in the Ninth Malaysia Plan to realise the target of a minimum 30 per cent Bumiputra participation in business should be taken advantage of by Bumiputras.

Musa said the arrival of tourists into the state would generate many spin-offs such as the hotel sector, country homes, transport, restaurants and hawker centres.

"To draw in tourists, we should have facilities such as country homes so that tourists can have an enjoyable stay in Sabah and will come again," he said.

Datuk Musa also said the State government will study again the proposal to form a Regional Development Authority (RDA) in six districts which was shot down last year.

The Federal government had decided to establish new RDAs in Sabah and Sarawak under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to develop interior areas and rural growth centres.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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