Ministry engages with logistics, air transport industry players to tackle airport, STOLport issues

Lee (fourth right) being briefed during a visit to KIA Cargo Terminal, MAScargo warehouse and Customs Department Office.

KUCHING, July 23: The Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) conducted an engagement session with relevant government agencies, airlines, associations, and business chambers from the logistic and air transport industry to tackle issues related to airport and STOLport (Short Take-off and Landing Airport) facilities and safety in Sarawak.

Led by its minister, Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, the meeting was held on Wednesday (July 20) at the Malaysia Airport Sdn Bhd (MASB) Office in Kuching International Airport (KIA) and is a subsequent follow-up to the Sarawak Transport Committee Meeting (SPTC) on July 8.

According to a statement issued, Lee, together with the MOTS officers and Freight Forwarding agencies representatives, also visited the KIA Cargo Terminal, MAScargo warehouse and Customs Department Office, which was adjacent to the main KIA Terminal building.

Among the points highlighted during the engagement session at the cargo terminal were parking spaces for the lorries, widening of the road width, the Customs clearance office being too cramped, and limited space at the warehouses, especially for Pos Aviation and Raya Airways.

In this regard, the Customs Department, Post Aviation, and Raya Airways were asked to submit their warehouse proposal and office requirements to MASB and MOTS for further action with the related stakeholders.

Lee and the committee also pointed out the overall cleanliness of the passenger terminal building and the lack of facilities at the International Departure Hall for passengers to relax before their flight.

In response, MASB Headquarters in Kuching said that MASB would look into the matter and might introduce a mobile kiosk system for the International Departure Hall as they did in KLIA.

MASB also said the percentage of international passengers in KIA is too small and that MASB could not find any interested vendors to service the area.

According to Lee, the air transport system plays a vital role not only within the macro environment of transportation but also by providing local businesses access to the global market.

Lee said that airports also help retain and attract business and thus provide jobs and economic prosperity to the community.

“Safe and efficient air service also creates an environment that allows both existing and new businesses to succeed and thus increases a community’s tax base,” he said. — DayakDaily