Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New airport to facilitate travel and open up Lawas

LAWAS: Travel for folk in Lawas and southern Sabah would be a breeze when the proposed new Lawas airport is completed under the second rolling of the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP)

Deputy Minister of Transport Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the present transportation and communication woes would be addressed by the building of the airport by the federal government under the mid-term review of 10MP, which has been regarded as an essential project.

The new airport would also open up communication links around Lawas, including the Ba Kelalan and Bario highlands apart from neighbouring Sabah, he said during his working visit here yesterday.

“The construction of the new airport is a necessity and not a luxury for this region,” he said, adding that it would also boost the economic growth of the district and southern districts of Sabah.

The current fleet of four Twin Otter aircrafts is also slated to be replaced with more modern aircrafts that meet the requirements of rural Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) airstrips under the Rural Air Service (RAS) for Sabah and Sarawak.

These reliable aircrafts currently operated by MasWings are already 28 years-old.

Rahim said the ministry was informed by Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan of the problem of frequent flooding at Lawas airport during rainy spells which caused much inconvenience to the people.

The increase in passenger traffic would also bring a brighter prospect for the district’s tourism industry as it is currently constricted by limited air travel connectivity.

The deputy minister also visited the proposed site of the new airport which has been approved by the state government, and gave the thumbs up for its strategic location in the economic development triangle of Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: New airport to facilitate travel and open up Lawas

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