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KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) -- The Sabah government, through its strategic investment arm Qhazanah Sabah Bhd (QSB), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with property developer Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) to explore the possible relocation of Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) to Kimanis.
The companies said the MoU covers the relocation of KKIA involving the construction and development of a new international airport in Kimanis as well as a sustainable development plan to be undertaken within Kimanis or on any other land deemed suitable by the Sabah government.
“A special purpose vehicle will undertake the proposed project upon completion of a detailed technical and financial feasibility study, strategic business plan and financial modelling proposal to be agreed by both parties,” they said in a joint statement today.
Meanwhile, QSB group chief executive officer Ahmad Rizal Dahli said the the company has been tasked with looking into various strategic development initiatives to support the economic growth of Sabah, including the possible relocation of KKIA to Kimanis.
He said the MoU establishes a preliminary collaboration between it and BLand, paving the way for QSB to carry out feasibility studies and exploratory works for the proposed project.
"The relocation of KKIA had been suggested in various discussions across the board for a decade. This MoU allows us to look at this in more detail, particularly in terms of economic viability and social impact assessment.
"We are looking forward to tapping on the expertise brought on board by the early partnership with BLand, particularly on infrastructure development,” he said.
Ahmad Rizal said KKIA is unlikely to be able to expand further in operational terms, including expansion of its terminal building and runway as well as other facilities, due to limited land area and its current location, which is surrounded by privately owned land and its proximity to the Kota Kinabalu city centre.
“The proximity can be one of the risk factors for delayed development of the city centre due to the regulations and restrictions set by having an airport nearby. A relocation of KKIA to Kimanis, on the other hand, could result in the airport having more than one terminal building and runway,” he explained.
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