KUCHING, Aug 12: Construction for the new Lawas airport in Sundar is scheduled to start by the first quarter of 2023 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.
Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the new airport, which utilises green energy, will serve a bigger catchment area including Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei, and Indonesia.
In terms of Lawas, he said the district needs a bigger airport to accommodate the influx of business and leisure tourists to town.
“As such, this new airport is vital as it will serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the northern region,” he said when concluding the two-day value assessment lab for the proposed Lawas airport today.
Awang Tengah, who is also Northern Region Development Authority (NRDA) chairman, said other mega projects such as Northern Coastal Highway (NCH), Sarawak Sabah Link Road (SSLR) and Trans Borneo Highway (LTB) would complement the new Lawas airport.
He said Lawas is currently served by the existing Short Take-Off and Landing Airport (STOLport), which has been operating since 1961.
Despite a subsequent upgrade in 1996, the STOLport continues to experience certain issues such as flooding, and over time, the STOLport can no longer cope with the increase in passengers.
Awang Tengah said the Ministry of Transport Malaysia had conducted a feasibility study in 2016 and recommended a new airport with a runway length of 1,500 metres to accommodate ATR 72-500 aircraft.
Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) is the implementing agency for this proposed new Lawas airport. — DayakDaily