Kuching to get new international airport, current KIA may be turned into private airport

Abang Johari fielding questions from the media at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) Complex on May 15, 2024.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, May 15: The Sarawak government will build a new Kuching International Airport (KIA) following the inadequacy of the existing one in catering for increased flights and passenger load, and for the fulfilment of Sarawak’s vision to be a regional aviation hub in ASEAN.

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said the Sarawak government is conducting a study to look into the matter due to increased air traffic.


“Looking at the airport (KIA) now, we think it does not have enough capacity following the increase in flights and passengers.

“I feel that it is time for us to look into and build a new airport because this airport is beyond capacity. It is not enough to cater for our (air) traffic,” said Abang Johari when met by the media after the adjournment of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting today.

He said Sarawak will need a new airport to be an aviation hub, and this is timely since Sarawak has decided to build a deep seaport following its vision to be an international seahub in this part of world.

The site for the new Kuching International Airport has yet to be identified and will not only cater for passengers but also for commercial cargo, Abang Johari revealed.

He said that Sarawak may work together with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) depending on capital capability.

On the fate of the existing KIA in Kuching, he said it may be turned into an airport for private aircraft.

“We see what we are going to do with the old airport. Maybe it will becoming a private airport,” said Abang Johari.

Earlier in his ministerial winding-up speech, he said Sarawak is poised to become another regional aviation hub for ASEAN following the takeover of MASwings.

“In this regard, we are planning to build a new international airport in Kuching to support the growing aviation industry in Sarawak.

“Supported by a regulatory framework that promotes transparency, our ports and airports are vital drivers for regional development and global economic integration,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily