KOTA KINABALU: The relocation of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) to Kimanis is expected to take between three and five years, said Qhazanah Sabah Berhad (QSB) Chairman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob.
He said the state investment arm recently presented the feasibility study on the relocation of the airport to the Sabah Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and had met with Transport Ministry officials about the proposal.
“As Qhazanah Chairman, I also conducted a courtesy visit to (Transport Minister) Anthony Loke on July 24 and had a meeting with the secretary-general and officer-in-charge.
“The outcome is positive and they acknowledged the Chief Minister’s plan as a vision for Sabah,” he told the media after Hari Pahlawan at Padang Merdeka, here, Monday.
Yusof, who is also Sindumin Assemblyman, said it would now be up to the State Cabinet’s approval.
He added the relocation of the airport to Kimanis, which is about 60 kilometres from the existing facility, is crucial for further development in the State Capital.
“This plan has been initiated since previous governments; it is not ad hoc.We are looking to the future.
In fact, there is no airport in the world that is located in the city. “(Kota Kinabalu International Airport is no longer suitable as it will retard the growth of Kota Kinabalu City.
“We also need to look into the expansion programmes for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) for the Aeronautics or aeroplane related industry…the aviation training centre,” he said, adding the relocation would develop an area of 6,070.5 hectares.
Yusof said out of the total area, 2,023.5 hectares were for the airport while the remaining for supporting services, a new airport city, industrial and residential areas.
As for the concerns on transportation to the airport, he assured that the Pan Borneo Highway and high-speed train would help to ferry passengers to and fro from the new airport.
Instead of relying on government funding, he said Qhazanah would look into private investment.
“When (the State Cabinet meeting on the airport relocation) has completed, the project will be implemented in phases as there is much to coordinate with our partners Berjaya Land Bhd, the Transport Ministry and Malaysia Airport holdings Bhd.
“The construction of the airport will not happen immediately, I estimate it will take between three and five years, before the relocation in 2030.
“But we cannot wait any longer, as the cost will increase due to inflation.”