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GERAWAT APPEALS FOR REVIEW OF STOLPORT PASSENGER LOADS, FLIGHT FREQUENCY
Posted on : 19 Jan 2023  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

 

 

 
MIRI (Jan 19): Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala has appealed to MASwings and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to review the current restriction in passenger loads for Twin Otter flights at STOLports (Short Take Off and Landing) in Sarawak.

Gerawat explained that MASwings has reduced its passenger load to a maximum of nine passengers per flight, compared to 14 to 15 passengers originally, although the Twin Otter can seat 19.

He also appealed for additional flights to address the needs of the local community.

“In particular, for my constituency of Mulu, which is one of the largest state constituencies in Sarawak with a relatively poor road network, MASwings’ flights are critical for the mobility of our people and goods and a key for economic growth.

“I have highlighted to the former federal Minister of Transport that Mulu constituency is the only constituency that has five (STOL) airports, namely in Mulu, Bario, Long Banga, Long Lellang, and Long Seridan, and this is why MASwings’ service is a very important issue for my constituency,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted.

He was responding to an article in The Borneo Post yesterday, in which a Mulu resident had complained about insufficient flights to Long Banga.

Gerawat pointed out the reduction in passenger load had caused homestay operators, local tour guides, and food and beverage outlets to suffer a huge drop in income as tourist arrivals dropped significantly.

“I have raised this subject previously with MASwings management including requests for additional flights to other STOLports like Bario, Long Lellang, Long Seridan, and introduction of transit flights between Mulu Airport and Bario.

“However, MASwings has not mounted these additional flights. MASwings did commence additional flights between Bario and Long Seridan and Bario to Long Lellang once a week, which was much welcomed by the local community,” he said.

Gerawat added that he and Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin met the former federal Transport Minister about the problem faced by rural communities arising from the reduction in passenger load per flight by MASwings.

“We had requested for the federal Transport Minister to resolve the reduced passenger load on MASwings flight to the rural destinations.

“The ministry officials went for a site visit to Bario and had a dialogue with the local community leaders on the issue. The solution proposed was to extend the runway to accommodate full passenger load, but the federal government has not allocated any budget for extension of the runways affected,” he shared.

In this regard, Gerawat appealed to MASwings and the federal Ministry of Transport to arrange additional flights to all STOLports in Mulu constituency, namely Bario, Long Banga, Long Lellang, and Long Seridan, as well as to Ba Kelalan to offset the reduction in passenger load as an interim measure.

Gerawat appeals for review of STOLport passenger loads, flight frequency

By Jude Toyat on January 19, 2023, Thursday at 1:55 PM Sarawak


MIRI (Jan 19): Mulu assemblyman Datuk Gerawat Gala has appealed to MASwings and the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to review the current restriction in passenger loads for Twin Otter flights at STOLports (Short Take Off and Landing) in Sarawak.

Gerawat explained that MASwings has reduced its passenger load to a maximum of nine passengers per flight, compared to 14 to 15 passengers originally, although the Twin Otter can seat 19.

He also appealed for additional flights to address the needs of the local community.

“In particular, for my constituency of Mulu, which is one of the largest state constituencies in Sarawak with a relatively poor road network, MASwings’ flights are critical for the mobility of our people and goods and a key for economic growth.

“I have highlighted to the former federal Minister of Transport that Mulu constituency is the only constituency that has five (STOL) airports, namely in Mulu, Bario, Long Banga, Long Lellang, and Long Seridan, and this is why MASwings’ service is a very important issue for my constituency,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted.

He was responding to an article in The Borneo Post yesterday, in which a Mulu resident had complained about insufficient flights to Long Banga.

Gerawat pointed out the reduction in passenger load had caused homestay operators, local tour guides, and food and beverage outlets to suffer a huge drop in income as tourist arrivals dropped significantly.

“I have raised this subject previously with MASwings management including requests for additional flights to other STOLports like Bario, Long Lellang, Long Seridan, and introduction of transit flights between Mulu Airport and Bario.

“However, MASwings has not mounted these additional flights. MASwings did commence additional flights between Bario and Long Seridan and Bario to Long Lellang once a week, which was much welcomed by the local community,” he said.

Gerawat added that he and Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin met the former federal Transport Minister about the problem faced by rural communities arising from the reduction in passenger load per flight by MASwings.

“We had requested for the federal Transport Minister to resolve the reduced passenger load on MASwings flight to the rural destinations.

“The ministry officials went for a site visit to Bario and had a dialogue with the local community leaders on the issue. The solution proposed was to extend the runway to accommodate full passenger load, but the federal government has not allocated any budget for extension of the runways affected,” he shared.

In this regard, Gerawat appealed to MASwings and the federal Ministry of Transport to arrange additional flights to all STOLports in Mulu constituency, namely Bario, Long Banga, Long Lellang, and Long Seridan, as well as to Ba Kelalan to offset the reduction in passenger load as an interim measure.

“I also call upon the federal government to provide allocation for the extension of the existing runway at these five STOLports as the government will continue to incur costs in the form of subsidies for empty seats on the flights,” he added.

When contacted, Lee said he would further highlight the issue.

“I will bring this up to MASwings and discuss with Datuk Gerawat on further action,” he added.

 
 
 
 The Borneo Post
 

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