'Move passenger ops to KKIA'

 'Move passenger ops to KKIA'
Terminal 2 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

KOTA KINABALU - A Sabah assemblyman has suggested that the second terminal of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) be closed for passenger flights and the operations relocated to the main terminal, which is seen to be under-utilised.

Luyang representative Hiew King Cheu said the relocation would enable KKIA2 to be converted into an air cargo terminal.

He said he had been approached by many air travellers asking the government to move all flight operations at the second terminal to the main airport, also known as Terminal 1.

He said an average of 8,000 passengers go through this terminal daily while more than 9,000 passengers daily pass through KKIA2, which is used by budget airlines such as AirAsia.

Conversely, he added, there were 3,094 flights a month, or 103 flights a day, at the main airport while at KKIA2 there were 2,071 flights a month, or 69 flights a day.

Hiew, a former state DAP chairman who joined MCA in August, added: "We have a situation now where KKIA2 is overcrowded while the newly completed Terminal 1 is under-utilised."

He said more than 19 tonnes of cargo pass through the airport every year, adding that the relocation of cargo operations to the second terminal would further enhance operations at the KKIA.

"At the moment, this large quantity of air cargo is spread out through both terminals and their handling is time-consuming and labour-intensive," he said, adding that he would forward the numerous requests for the relocation of all passengers to Terminal 1 to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

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