|MIRI (Dec 21): Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad is closing Bay 2 of Miri Airport Terminal apron for repairs and upgrading works which are expected to be completed by August next year, said state Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin.
According to Malaysia Airports Berhad, Bay 2 has deteriorated significantly as the pavement has shown much distress such as cracks, loose stones and uneven surface, making it hazardous and dangerous to aircraft.
“The pavement was laid in 1985 and has not undergone any repairs in the past 37 years in use and rehabilitation is urgently needed,” said Lee.
The minister disclosed this at a press conference following a meeting with Malaysia Airports officials, including manager Jauhari, yesterday.
Pavement works on concrete slabs of Apron 2 will start in February next year and are expected to be completed by August 2023 after the completion of the pavement assessment, design and recommendation works which are now in progress.
This would be preceded by pre-construction survey, site-assessment and testing, design works and mobilisation in November this year to January 31 next year.
The physical work on the site will take seven months, and will include slab rehabilitation, line marking and joint sealant which must be completed by August 31 for Independence Day celebrations.
According to Lee, Bay 2 has been closed since last month and only two other bays with aerobridges for aircraft and passenger traffic at Miri Airport are in use until the completion of the upgrading works.
Passengers are forced to embark or disembark using staircase when there are many flights scheduled at the same time, and Lee hoped the public will bear with the inconvenience pending the completion of the project undertaken by Malaysia Airports.
The airport is the sixth-busiest airport in Malaysia, and the second-busiest in Sarawak.
The two-storey terminal building is able to handle up to two million passengers per annum and it has been operating beyond its designed capacity since 2012.
According to statistics, Miri Airport is the sixth busiest airport in terms of aircraft movements and the sixth busiest in terms of passengers handled. There were 2,363,080 passenger movements and 49,204 aircraft movements in the airport in 2014.
The airlines operating flights using this airport are Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, MasWings, MyAirline and Scoot.
Air traffic has picked up again after it plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions since 2020. Malaysia officially re-opened her borders in April 1 this year, doing away with vaccination requirement for those entering the state.
| The Borneo Post