Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sabah looking at suggestions to tackle KKIA overcrowding

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is scrutinising recommendations to improve the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) capacity in an effort to address increased flights and tourist arrival into the state.

Among the suggestions made were to expand the existing KKIA facilities into the sea via reclamation as well as build a new runway and construct a new airport.

The KKIA Terminal 1 had emerged the second busiest airport in the country after Kuala Lumpur International Airport, with an annual capacity of nine million passengers.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said 7.9 million passengers had used the airport throughout 2017, with 3.68 million tourists arrival.

"If we look at the increasing number of tourists, especially from China and South Korea, to Sabah and particularly Kota Kinabalu, we will face a possibility of reaching the maximum capacity in the near future," he told reporters after attention the Ministry's inaugural assembly here, today.

"This is something which will eventually become a challenge for KKIA to allow more aircrafts to park.

“Therefore we had taken into considerations the proposals by various quarters. All options are being fined tuned and when the time comes, the government will choose the most practical and viable option," he stressed.

On airport expansion and additional runway construction, Masidi said the state government would conduct thorough study to determine whether the recommendations are viable as it affect the environment.