Sarawak tops list of best STOLport in Malaysia — MAHB
BARIO (September 15): Sarawak tops the list of best Short Take-Off and Landing airports (STOLport) in the country.
When disclosing this, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) acting group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said these included STOLport in Lawas, Marudi and Bario in the respective ranking order.
“If I have to rank the STOLports, the best today is in Lawas. This is followed by STOLport in Marudi and Bario in second and third placings respectively. All of these STOLports, which are located in Sarawak, make the Top 3 STOLports nationwide,” he said when met by The Borneo Post at the launching ceremony of Bario STOLport’s new terminal building here recently.
Other STOLports in the state include those in Ba Kelalan, Belaga, Kapit, Long Akah, Long Banga, Long Lellang, Long Semado, Long Seridan and Mukah.
Figure 1: Raja Azmi (third left) and Aminuddin (third right) with other senior managers of Malaysia Airports and local residents in a group photo.
Commenting further, Raja Azmi emphasised that STOLports serve as one of Malaysia Airports’ ways to give back to the community through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.
“These STOLports do not make money because they do not collect airport tax. In fact, not only STOLports, but most of the domestic airports are not profitable because of the RM11 domestic charges,” he replied when asked how many of the 18 STOLports in Malaysia actually make money.
MASwings Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Aminuddin Zakaria, who was also present at the event, concurred with Raja Azmi and said all the STOLports are CSR-based subsidised by the government.
“STOLport aims to provide the air link and the government is aware that this is important for the people, especially those in the rural areas.
“So, this is not a question of about making money but it is a question about providing the air link, and the government is sensitive to this,” he emphasised.
Aminuddin disclosed that there would be a review on the flight frequencies for STOLports next year. This is after an agreement and discussion held between the Ministry of Transport, Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the Sarawak government, he said.
“The increase or decrease of the frequency depends on the areas, whether their maturity is there or not.
“As for Bario, it is matured. People know Bario and we can see our passengers and tourists’ arrival here is actually increasing. Bario has been a place where the tourism has been promoted intensively and has seen an influx of thousands of visitors especially tourists from overseas,” he pointed out.
Raja Azmi added the STOLport in Bario has seen an increase of 4.4 per cent in terms of passenger traffic in 2017 to 25,100 people compared to 24,080 people the previous year.
Senior managers of Malaysia Airports, STOLport Bario staff and local residents were also present at the event.[Source: “Sarawak Tops List of Best STOLport in Malaysia — MAHB” published by BorneoPost Online]
Photo Credits: BorneoPost Online