Dr Yii: Sarawak has potential to become strategic aviation maintenance, repair, overhaul hub

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, June 15: The Sarawak government should tap into the growing aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry as Sarawak, given its strategic location, has the potential to become the preferred MRO hub in Southeast Asia region which is currently lacking such specialised facilities.

Instead of setting up a boutique airline which may not be sustainable and economically feasible, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said that Sarawak government should build a conducive ecosystem in collaboration with Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and recognised global aviation players to extend Kuching International Airport’s (KIA) in that capacity.

“Sarawak can invest in collaboration with global players to set up a new facility that offers end-to-end aftermarket services including MRO, aircraft teardown, aircraft material recycling and parts trading.

“This is in view of increasing flights into this region, especially with the opening of Indonesia’s capital Nusantara in Kalimantan,” he said in a statement today.

Dr Yii disclosed that Kuching’s potential as a preferred regional MRO hub was brought up during a meeting with AirAsia Berhad CEO Riad Asmat and AirAsia Aviation Group CEO Bo Lingam at the ReDHQ to respond to the urgent needs of MRO services in the region.

He also noted that AirAsia services have been affected by the slow repair and maintenance of their aircrafts, causing them to be unable to fly at full capacity due to the lack of MRO services in the region.

“Sarawak has the potential to provide MRO services and capture a significant part of the US$3.64 trillion (about RM15.08 trillion) aftermarket service share in Asia Pacific (APAC) in the next 20 years for Malaysia,” he said.

According to Malaysia Airports KLIA Aeropolis head Randhill Singh, APAC is expecting to see the highest aircraft deliveries at 41 per cent or about 17,500 aircraft deliveries globally in the next 20 years.

Moreover, when an aircraft retires after 20 to 25 years in service, an estimated 85 to 95 per cent of its weight can be recycled to ensure proper disposal and Sarawak can take advantage of the many high quality components.

Dr Yii emphasised that this shows the huge potential this industry can offer and the revenue it can bring to Sarawak, including the spillover effect on the local and domestic economy as well as the creation of high-skilled jobs. — DayakDaily