Monday, October 28, 2013

Upgrading of Miri Airport would bring Miri’s tourism to new height

MIRI: Upgrading of Miri Airport would bring the tourism industry in the northern region, especially Miri, into new horizon.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tabled the 2014 Budget on Friday and it was announced that Miri Airport would be among the five airports in the state and Sabah to be upgraded with a RM312 million allocation. The other airports are Sibu and Mukah Airports and Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan Airports.

Lauding the announcement, Assistant Minister of Communication Datuk Lee Kim Shin welcomes the assistance to upgrade Miri  Airport.

“Miri being a resort city, it is important that we have good facilities such as the airport which is able to function efficiently to cater to the needs of our visitors and business community,” Lee said.

“We in Miri certainly need the airport to be upgraded because Miri Airport is the hub of all our rural air services. Miri has the most number of flights to the rural area, serving routes to Bario, Ba’kelalan, Marudi, Lawas, Limbang and Mukah,” Lee noted when asked during a seminar held in conjunction with the 55th anniversary of Miri Hakka Association.

In addition, Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman, said there was a need for the airport to have separate terminals catering to domestic and international and rural air services. This includes separate check-in counters and the departure and arrival lounges.

Lee also hopes for the terminal building to be extended and have more direct flights.

“We have a geographical advantage similar to Kota Kinabalu as the routes are shorter to Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong,” Lee added, hoping that the government would consider making Miri as another gateway into Sarawak.