Minister Highlights Progress of Airport’s Upgrading in Brunei

The runway and taxiway of Brunei International Airport (BIA) are being upgraded to receive Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 aircraft that can carry large number of passengers and high volume of cargo.

This was said by the Minister of Communications, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, on the sidelines of his visit to the Brunei International Airport  a couple of days ago during an Airport Open Day held by the Department of Civil Aviation to mark the International Civil Aviation Day.

Upgrading works continue to be implemented at the airport by looking at the demand of international airlines, the minister said, adding that Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 aircraft will be able to operate at BIA in the near future.

“Globally in the future, the airline market is going to be huge. The government has been making big investment in increasing the facilities at the Brunei International Airport and it was recently handed-over to the Department of Civil Aviation after refurbishment and upgrading. The Air Traffic Control system has also been equipped with latest equipment with a massive investment.

“Transport sector is crucial, big and expanding. To increase the movement of people, goods and services, we need to improve the systems further, be it air, sea or land,” he added.

The minister added that his ministry is also improving bus and taxi transport systems in the country. “The public is now confident of our taxi service with the introduction of taxi meters and affordable taxi rates.”

Underlining the need for a reliable bus transport system, he said that its connectivity must be efficient at areas like hospitals, shopping centres, hotels, schools and working areas.

“We would like to have local Bruneians operating buses and taxis. Foreigners must be prohibited to be drivers of buses and taxis in the country. Since such a regulation is yet to be implemented, operators are still able to hire foreign drivers,” the minister noted.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof, Acting Director of Civil Aviation, said the Airport Open Day gave an opportunity to students aged 12-18 years to have an overview on the airline industry in general and the developments at the airport in particular. Brunei International Airport sees an annual traffic of roughly 1.5 to 1.6 million passengers, a relatively small figure compared to other airports on Borneo Island such as Balikpapan in Indonesia with 7.4 million passengers, Kota Kinabalu with 6.57 million and Kuching with 4.77 million  passengers in Malaysian Borneo.