By Za'im Zaini
Brunei is planning for an expansion and refurbishment or construction of a new passenger terminal to bring the international airport on par with world-class standards.
The government yesterday took the first step towards realising the vision of an airline hub with a signing ceremony between The Department of Civil Aviation under the Ministry of Communications and Petar Perunding Sdn Bhd for consultancy services for the airport master plan study. It was held at the Ministry of Communications Building.
Present to witness the signing ceremony was the Minister of Communications Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abu Bakar Bin Haji Apong.
Signing on behalf of the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications, Dato Paduka Hj Md Yusof bin Hj Md Hassan, while signing on behalf of Petar Perunding Sdn Bhd was its Chairman Hj Sapawi bin Bolhassan.
The proposed facilities will have to be integrated with the existing infrastructure to make the airport world class, yet imparting the Bruneian identity while ensuring safe, secure and expeditious arrivals and departures of passengers and aircraft and an enjoyable experience.
The passenger and cargo terminals need to be expanded so as to cater for the traffic and to develop the Brunei International Airport as the leading regional air hub in the BIMP-EAGA region. Infrastructural development strategies to develop the airport as the leading regional air hub are focused on the following areas: Airline Hub, Airport City and Cargo Village.
The master plan study will also look into aircraft parking apron, associated roads, curb sides and car parks.
The consultant team comprises M/S Petar Perunding Sdn Bhd (Principal Consultant), M/S CPG Consultants PTE LTD (Airport Division), M/S Leading Edge Aviation Planning Professionals (Air Traffic Forecast), M/S SKM Singapore Consulting PTE LTD (Airport Security) and M/S Consulus Cato Partners (Branding Consultant).
The master plan study together with the conceptual design proposal is estimated to take eight months to complete.
The principal objective of the study is to produce a workable programme of priority improvements needed for the airport and to prepare a master plan for the airport's phased development, which is technically and financially feasible.
Brunei recorded 1.3 million passengers in 2005 and the airport is facing congestion during peak hours, hence the need to expand the facility.
The Brunei International Airport has undergone several major facelifts since its opening. It was upgraded in the mid 1980s and later in 2000 to handle more than two million passengers and 50,000 tonnes of cargo every year.
"No concrete decision has been made on whether to expand the airport or build a new terminal. We need to wait for the consultancy study to be completed to consider the number of options which will be short listed to be implemented for the development of the airport," said Director of Civil Aviation Pg Hj Abdul Rahman bin PSI Pg Hj Ismail in an interview with the Borneo Bulletin.
"Today's event is for the signing ceremony of an agreement for consultancy where the consultants (Principal Consultant) have been given the responsibility to conduct a study for the airport master plan, which will give the government an idea on how to develop the Brunei International Airport," he added.
The study will not only take into consideration the number of passengers arriving, departing and transiting but will also consider other issues such as people working at the airport, providing better facilities for agencies that provide services at the airport either through the public or private sector. Such efforts would ensure more passengers using the airport in the future and thereby realising the vision of making the Brunei International Airport as a regional hub, said the director.
During the event, Rohani bte Baharin Executive Vice President (Airport) of CPG Consultants Pte Ltd gave a presentation on the master plan study.
She gave a timeframe for the submission of reports. The preliminary report will be delivered in January 2008, interim report in March 2008, final draft report in May 2008 and final report in July 2008.
The study will assess and identify new services at the airport, develop business strategies for a commercially viable operation, assess and identify feasible private partnership projects, provide a world-class facility with effective and efficient operations.
The planning period will have a two-phase development programme.
Phase 1 will be the implementation from 2008 to 2012 and operational for the next 12 years, which is from 2012 to 2024. Phase 2 implementation will be from 2022 to 2024 and will be operational from 2024 to 2036.Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin