MIRI: The RM70 million-Miri Airport extension project is slightly behind schedule and thus is expected to be completed by end of this year instead of October.
The project involves expanding the parking aprons and adding two more taxiways to accommodate 10 ATRs, four Twin Otters and five Boeing and Airbus 320s aircraft at any one time.
Assistant Minister of Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the project was crucial for the airport, strained under the heavy load of passengers because it had already exceeded its capacity.
The additional taxiways would ease congestion of aircrafts lining up for take-offs and taxying to the apron.
MAB reported that 2.3 million passengers passed through the airport in 2013 which was only designed to handle two million passengers annually.
The congestion has called for urgent expansion of the airport infrastructure and facilities including the terminal building, which Lee hoped to get the Minister of Transport to give the nod to.
“I have written to the ministry two years ago for it (expansion) to be included in the 11th Malaysia Plan, and I will be pursuing it with the minister again,” he said.