Sheda chairman: New Kuching airport timely as Sarawak anticipates own airline, relaxed open sky policy

Dato Sim Kiang Chiok

By DayakDaily Team

KUCHING, May 17: The proposed new international airport in Kuching is timely as Sarawak anticipates the establishment of its own airline and a more relaxed open sky policy.

Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Kuching branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok said the existing Kuching International Airport currently ranked as the third largest in Malaysia but serves only six to seven airlines.


The airport, he said, is smaller than Kota Kinabalu’s which ranked as the second largest airport in Malaysia, accommodating a more extensive range of airlines, destinations and passengers.

“With the establishment of Sarawak-owned airline and the implementation of a more relaxed open sky policy, we anticipate exponential growth in air traffic within Sarawak.

“To meet this demand, the government is responsibly planning for a new, modern, and larger airport,” he said in a statement today.

He was commenting on Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s recent statement, which revealed that the Sarawak government is conducting a study to look into the establishment of a new Kuching International Airport due to increased air traffic.

Sim further said the timing and location of the new airport are critical for its success as a regional aviation hub.

“Given the considerable time required from planning to completion, initiating the planning process now is essential.

“The airport’s location must serve as a nucleus for growth while ensuring strategic accessibility to Kuching at minimal cost to users,” he added.

“In the interim, there is widespread support for enhancing the existing airport to improve the traveler experience.

“This includes improving the areas at check-in, immigration, and luggage claim to ensure smoother and more convenient passage through Kuching Airport,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily