Mixed reactions to proposal to reactivate Kapit airport

The view of the old Kapit airport from the upper Rajang River.
The view of the old Kapit airport from the upper Rajang River.

KAPIT: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has proposed to reactivate the Kapit airport, in a statement to the government agencies here, including the Resident’s Office and District Council.

The airport here has not been operational for more than 20 years, and has been used as a venue for activities such as the Gawai bazaar, fun fair and pasar malam.

The temporary stalls for the ‘pasar malam’ traders near the airstrip.

It could only accommodate Twin Otter planes flying to Sibu and Belaga back when it was in service.

The decision by MAHBon on Monday has received mixed reactions from the local community.

Kapit Armed Forces Veterans Association chairman Martin Bilun said the defunct airport was no longer ideal due to the development to the surrounding areas.

“We have several developments surrounding the airport, including housing estates, government buildings (nine-storey State Office Complex) and swiftlets farming.”

“It would be better if MAHB could think of an alternative like the Tunoh Resettlement Scheme in Bukit Mabong District.

“Tunoh is going to be developed into a district. With its close border proximity to Indonesia, the airport is vital to serve as a landing base for the army and also for commercial air transport,” he said.

“With the Baleh dam coming up, the security of the upper Baleh area needs to be preserved. Hence, an airport in Tunoh is vital to meet all these needs and challenges,” stressed Martin.