Loke: No plans to build new airport in KK

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has no plans to build a new airport in Kota Kinabalu, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke today.

He said the Transport Ministry was focusing on making optimal use of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) as the construction of a new airport would involve a huge allocation.

"The proposed new airport is far from Kota Kinabalu, 40 to 50km away.

"KKIA is more strategic because it is closer to the city centre. So we are looking into the possibility of expanding the terminals or extending the runway.

"We are also looking into enhancing Terminal 2."

He was responding to Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (Perikatan Nasional-Beluran) when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address for his ministry at the Dewan Rakyat.

Loke said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd was also considering upgrading Terminal 1 to increase the airport's passenger handling capacity from nine million passengers per annum to 12 million passengers per annum.

"With the increased capacity, we aim to address congestion issues and provide a smoother and more pleasant travel experience for passengers."

Meanwhile, he said the ministry had no issues with having direct international flights to Sandakan as the country had an open-skies policy.

"This is a commercial decision made by airlines. If there is demand, they will fly to that airport."

He said the Malaysian Aviation Commission would hold talks with local airlines, including Batik Airlines, on increasing the number of direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Labuan.

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