Malaysia Airports opens new Kuching airport terminal

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Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAB) has completed a major upgrade of Kuching International Airport in East Malaysia that included the redevelopment of the terminal building.

National airports operator MAB says in a statement that the redevelopment work included an upgrade of the existing terminal building, and the construction of new road infrastructure and car parks as part of a 620 million ringgit ($169 million) expansion programme.

The new terminal building has a floor area of 46,500m2, more than double that of the old terminal, and is able to handle up to five million passengers annually. Last year 3.35 million passengers were handled by Kuching airport, representing growth of 1.1% over 2004.

MAB says there are also plans to lengthen the airport’s runway to 3,780m (12,400ft) from 2,454m at a cost of 200 million ringgit, which “will provide unrestricted Boeing 747-400 operations allowing the possibility for airlines to operate from Kuching to London directly”.

National carrier Malaysia Airlines has operated medium- and long-haul services from Kuching, in the eastern state of Sarawak, in the past but in recent months has said it will be reducing international services out of the city as part of a financial turnaround plan. Cuts announced recently include the dropping of the Kuching segment of Sydney-Kuching-Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Lumpur-Kuching-Perth services, as well as the suspension of services between Kuching and Pontianak in Indonesia.