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By Brad Rantayy
MIRI, Feb 18: Construction work on the extension project for the existing Miri Airport terminal is expected to commence in August this year due to a significant increase in passenger traffic over the last three years.
The extension plan, which is estimated to take about 22 months to complete, was revealed on today by Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin during a press conference at the Malaysia Airports Berhad office.
“The tender for the project has been out since Feb 12 and we have 32 contractors bidding for the tender,” said Lee, who did not disclose the project cost.
The closing for the tender is on March 10.
The expansion project would consist of five crucial works namely upgrading of the rural air services (RAS) area building; new offices for government agencies and airlines; additional check-in counters (CIC); new in-line baggage handling system (ILBHS); as well as improvement and upgrading works on the first floor departure hall area.
“We hope with the completion of this extension project, we could cater for three million passengers,” said Lee. The current Miri Airport terminal design capacity caters to about two million passengers.
Lee added that the minor extension project will mark a huge transformation for the Miri Airport, as they plan to turn it into a MASWings flight hub in the near future.
“In fact, we are considering to make Miri Airport serve as an alternate airport, because of its strategic location,” he said.
Passenger movements at Miri Airport in 2017 were around 2,188,048; and increased by 7.4 per cent in 2018 to 2,350,700. In 2019 the figure consistently increased to 2,435,155 or 3.6 per cent.
For aircraft movements in 2017, a total 40,692 commercial aircraft movements were recorded, in 2018 the numbers rose to 44,855 commercial aircraft movements (or 10.2 per cent). In 2019, however, the figure slightly decreased to 42,077 or 1.1 per cent.
Meanwhile for cargo movements at Miri airport, in 2017, a total 4,872 tonnes were recorded; the following year the figure increased by 3.7 per cent or 5,054 tonnes; and in 2019, a total 5,278 tonnes were recorded, an increase of 4.4 per cent. —DayakDaily