Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg
08/11/2022 04:49 PM

LAWAS, Nov 8 (Bernama) -- The cost of constructing the new Lawas airport in the Sundar area here is estimated at RM600 million, said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said that, for now, the land compensation process is going on and phase one of the airport construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.

According to him, in order to expedite the construction process, the construction cost will be borne by the state government first before the Federal Government reimburses it.

“For the benefit of the people of Lawas, we (the state government) will build it. It’s not cheap as it will cost about RM600 million and, if the Federal Government does not want to give it, we will do it.

“The people of Lawas have been waiting a long time (for a new airport). We will discuss this with the Federal Government later for them to pay back the cost of RM600 million,” he said at the Sarawakku Sayang programme today.

Lawas currently has a Short Take-Off and Landing Airport (STOLport), which has been operating since 1961.

Although it was upgraded in 1996, it continues to experience issues such as flooding, as well as an increase in the number of passengers and cargo.

On Aug 12, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan was reported to have said that the airport, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2026, would be the catalyst for economic growth in the northernmost district in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) will also continue developing the Lawas area, including building new ports and highways.