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New airport likely in Sarawak’s Lawas

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Source: Published by The Nation Thailand on May 14, 2012.

SARAWAK may get a new airport in Lawas after the Malaysian prime minister gave indications that the project will be prioritised under the country’s 10th national development plan, a minister said yesterday.

The Sarawak government’s request for a new airport in Lawas has drawn positive response from Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, according to a Bernama report citing Sarawak Minister of Public Utilities Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

There are indications that the project would be accorded priority under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015), the minister told reporters following a guest appearance on Radio Television Malaysia’s morning talk show “Selamat Pagi Malaysia” in Kuching yesterday.

A site for the new airport has been proposed by the state government, which Awang Tengah said should be able to accommodate aircraft such as the ATR-72. The existing airport can only take smaller aircraft such as the Twin Otter.

The new airport would also facilitate travel by people in southern Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan in Indonesia, the minister was quoted as saying.

The minister’s announcement spells good news for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) leaders who have repeatedly called for enhanced air connectivity in the region.

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