Mukah to get RM600m airport
Though Mukah is reachable by road today, the centre for the Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy (Score) currently has limited air connectivity due to the size of its current airport.
Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said the existing airport can cater only to the Twin Otter DHC6 aircraft, with a total capacity of 19 passengers.
“Sometimes, this aircraft carries even fewer people, especially when there is more cargo.
“With the rapid development of Score, it would be impractical and unsustainable, thus the need for a larger airport for Mukah,” said Manyin.
The new Mukah airport, which is among the pledges made by Barisan Nasional during the recent Balingian by-election, is expected to begin operations in January 2018.
Manyin said the first phase of its development, costing RM133 million, covers the initial earthworks. More than RM400 million is needed for its second phase.
“The second phase will include the pavement of the airfield, road works and civil infrastructure and building works.
“They will be opened for tender within the next eight months,” Manyin said after witnessing a contract signing between the state Public Works Department, Hock Peng Furniture and General Contractor Sdn Bhd, here yesterday.
The proposed 280-hectare site, which was approved by the State Planning Authority, is located along the Mukah-Oya road, 7km away from Mukah town. Earthworks at the site will be completed by December next year.
With the new airport, Mukah will be able to cater to larger aircraft, such as the ATR-72-500 that has a 68-passenger capacity.
With the rapid development of Score, the state is expected to see rapid economic growth in the central Sarawak region, which covers a 320sqkm area that includes Mukah, Tanjung Manis, Similajau, Sibu, Bintulu, Sarikei and Kapit.
source: New Straits Times
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