Friday, February 12, 2016

Pat on the back for federal government for renewing MASwings contract

LAWAS: Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) deputy president Datuk Nelson Balang Rining lauds the federal government for renewing MASwings contract to provide rural air services (RAS). But he said more flights are needed, including re-activating the Long Semadoh airstrip.

The chairman of SPDP Ba Kelalan division also said the Ba Kelalan constituency needed more airstrips and more daily flights, and suggested that the Ministry of Transport review the present situation of rural airports and rural flights schedule.

“I urge the federal cabinet to revive the Long Semadoh airstrip and reactivate flights to Miri and for the Miri-Ba Kelalan-Miri flight to be on a daily basis,” he said.

Long Semadoh and the surrounding villages have a population of more than 2,000 but the Long Semadoh airstrip is no longer operating and flights to Long Semadoh have stopped for several years.

MASwings operates three flights per week from Miri to Ba Kelalan airstrip in Buduk Nur.

Balang said this was insufficient to cater for increasing travel to Miri and other urban centres for important tasks.

“There is a need for daily flights to cater for the people from Ba Kelalan to Lawas or Miri, particularly to transport sick people or pregnant women for treatment,” he added.