Monday, September 22, 2014

KKIA upgrading work due for completion by January 2015

KOTA KINABALU: The overall upgrading works involving facilities and runway extension of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) are expected to be completed by January-end next year, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said earlier, the contractor had agreed to complete 95 per cent of the works, including extending the runway by 600 metres, a taxiway, lighting and other paths by March.

“However, the new contractor has the skills and is committed to complete the works, two months early. Now, it is back on track and there are no more delays. In fact, it will be completed by January,” he told reporters after officiating the MCA convention here on Sunday.

Liow said the airport could accommodate 6.5 million passengers a year, besides meeting the needs of all flight operations, including those of budget airline, AirAsia.

On AirAsia’s willingness to move to KKIA, he said the ministry had discussed with the airline to move from Terminal 2 in Tanjung Aru to allow better connection for passengers.

“We will discuss this with AirAsia soon so that their move to KKIA is smoothly done. AirAsia does not have to worry because KKIA is a large terminal with many gateways and places to park their aircraft,” he said.

At the same time, he said, the ministry would study the request by the state government to upgrade the Sandakan and Lahad Datu airports to meet the needs and security of the area.