Tuesday, March 01, 2016

RM80m Kota Kinabalu International Airport expansion due soon

Kota Kinabalu: Further expansion of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) apron and terminal are on the cards.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) Managing Director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (pic) said 10 more overnight aircraft parking bays are being planned to cater to jets and turboprop aircraft with construction of these facilities expected to commence this year.

This will come along with the company's plans to increase terminal capacity from nine million to 16million passengers over the next five years.

"MAHB wants to be ahead of the curve to cater to the eight per cent growth in travel in the Asia Pacific Region.

"There are plans to continuously upgrade this airport to the kind of growth that we (MAHB) see and start discussions on the capability of upgrades for this airport.

"This is only for night stops and to cater to possibilities whether airlines want to increase flights to KKIA.

But this depends on how aggressive the airlines are in time to come," he said.

Badlisham is here to check on the efficiency and effectiveness of KKIA and other airports in Sabah.

He said construction of the additional overnight aircraft parking bays is expected to cost "anywhere from RM60 million to RM80 million."

KKIA currently has 22 parking bays, with 13 bays being used at any one time and up to 20 bays during peak periods, mostly by local airlines.

"That allows more aircraft to make night stops. So we look forward for more airlines making stops here and make Kota Kinabalu a hub to serve the eastern Asia side of Malaysia and attraction of Sabah," he said.