News & Happenings

Sarawak plans new international airport in Kuching

Current Kuching airport may be taken private

Sarawak is planning a new international airport in Kuching as it hopes to become another regional aviation hub in ASEAN.

According to a report by MalayMail, news of such plans were made known by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg in the Sarawak legislative assembly.

The report cited that the new airport will support the growing aviation industry in Sarawak as Sarawak look to offer comprehensive enhancements of intermodal transportation and logistics network.

This comes as Sarawak is seen to be located in a strategic location in the global supply chains.

The new airport also comes as Sarawak move to conclude the takeover of MASwings from Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG).

The fate of the current Kuching International Airport was also brought up with DayakDaily reporting that it may be turned into a private airport.

Kuching airport started in 1938

Sarawak had long wanted to build a new airport in Kuching with rumours that a site in Matang had already been identified back in the 90’s as a possible location for the new airport.

However, the rumoured new airport never surfaced with the current Kuching International Airport getting major face-lifts since it was made an air strip in 1938.

The last major renovation of the airport was done in 2000 with the current facade and design officially opened for use in 2006.

From then on, minor renovations were made to improve its usability and facilities, as it grew to become Malaysia’s fourth busiest airport behind KLIA, Kota Kinabalu International and Penang International.

In 2020, Abang Johari announced that the current Kuching airport would be congested in a couple more years. He was quoted as saying that there are plans to address this issue, but didn’t reveal any concrete plans then.

Later in December 2023, plans by Malaysia Airports Berhad to upgrade the Kuching International Airport were made known with acquisition of nearby land also being part of the plans.

However, this year, it was reported by the New Strait Times that the Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, is not happy with ‘small scale upgrades’ done for the airport.

That said, the recent announcement by the Premier of Sarawak to build a new air gateway to Kuching is not a surprise with futher details on the project very likely to be revealed soon.

Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.

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