New airport delights Mukah, Balingian folk

A Twin Otter aircraft in the first incoming flight from Kuching was sprayed with water as a welcoming gesture.

MUKAH: The new RM435.9 mln Mukah Airport, which welcomed its first arrival from Kuching on Thursday (June 17), is the result of a long-term plan devised by then Chief Minister Tun Pehin Seri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Balingian assemblyman Abdul Yakub Arbi said Taib’s successors and other relevant parties continued to work on the plan until it came to fruition.

“I and the people of Balingian are also happy with the construction of the new Mukah Airport, which will facilitate air travel from Mukah to other destinations,” he told the media when welcoming the first group of passengers on Thursday.

Tellian assemblyman Yussibnosh Balo, who also attended, said it would be up to the authorities to add new routes or new airlines to fly there in future.

Both assemblymen hoped to see more services introduced at the airport in future for the benefit of passengers and the public in general. The airport is located at KM7, Jalan Mukah-Oya.

The Twin Otter aircraft  in the first incoming flight was sprayed with water from two Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) Fire and Rescue vehicles as a welcoming gesture.

The first incoming flight from Kuching with four passengers onboard landed at about 10.10am, while the first outgoing flight to Kuching with four passengers also departed at about 10.30am.

Mukah Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) manager Muhd Abd Hafiz @Talim Tepong and executive STOLports Operations, Miri, David Cammarance Samuel Labo also attended.

The over 50-year-old Short take-off and landing airport (STOLport) about 3km from town, some 400ms off old Jalan Mukah-Oya, had its last day of operations on Wednesday (June 16).