Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Old Tawau Airport, what next?

The Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Dr. Hiew King Cheu visited the old Tawau airport last Sunday during the state round tour of the DAP mobile service. The concern Tawau folks wanted the MP to find out what is the government going to do with this long abandon airport. This airport is used to be the main airport serving the Tawau area until the new airport is in use.

Dr. Hiew said that this is a Federal matter, and the old Tawau Airport should be under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport. He said he can bring this matter up with the Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat in the coming Parliament sitting on the 15th June, to enquire about the decision on the abandon airport.

The old airport is sited just by the side of the Tawau town centre and it covers a total area of 300 over acres. It is next to the town and it is a waste to leave it abandon like this, claimed one of the complainers. In order to make good use of the old airport which is still in good condition, both the building and the runway strip, Dr. Hiew suggested that the flying club and its school to make use of the airport for their flying training courses. The old airport can also be converted to house the hospital emergency helipad for helicopters bringing in patients from the rural district for emergency medical treatment. This is because the Tawau General Hospital is just one kilometer away. Besides, it is important to consider the possibility to move the highly congested bus terminal away from the town centre to this airport location. This will help to ease the traffic congestion of the town too. Since the bus terminal is also part of the responsibility of the Federal Transport Ministry, this can be easily arranged.

There are many other viable proposals for the conversion of the old airport land to proper usage that can bring benefit to the Tawau folks, and it should only be use for public purpose only. Hiew said that he was told that some private companies wanted to take over the 300 acres for private development. He hopes the government will not approve this type of personal gain proposal. The peoples’ interest must be protected and promoted.

On the new Tawau airport, it is surprise to see that there are so many items on the list which needed immediate attention by the Malaysia Airport Bhd. (MAB). The air conditioning system in the boarding waiting hall is out of service about one and a half months now, and there is no sign of its repair. There are only two stand-fans blowing the hot waiting room. The lighting is not enough, and it is so dark at places because many lights are not switch on. Are they trying to safe money? There is complaint that the canteen closed at 5pm and passenger can’t get to buy food and drinks, the time must follow the flight schedules. Besides, the toilets are not clean and the floor tiles are torn off. The MAB has to immediately put right the situation in the airport, due to Tawau airport is the important tourist gateway.

Dr. Hiew King Cheu. KK MP

在上个星期日(26/04/09)亚庇国会议员邱庆洲博士带领沙巴民主行动党流动服务队,前往斗湖进行流动服务和巡视。 该处的人们希望邱国会议员能为他们询问政府,对弃置已久的旧机场有什么未来的计划。 在新机场启用后,这个旧机场已被废弃,以前这机场是斗湖区的主要机场。

邱博士说,这项问题是联邦政府的问题,斗湖旧机场应该是属于联邦交通部的管辖范围。 他说他将会在六月十五日的国会中,向部长拿督翁诗询问有关被弃置的斗湖旧机场的问题。

该旧机场的位置就在斗湖市中心的附近,而它的总面积超过三百多英亩。 该区的人抱怨说,旧机场距离斗湖镇很近,却被如此的荒废弃置着实在是很浪费。目前旧机场,无论是在建筑物和跑道地带仍处于良好状态。 为了充分利用该地方,邱博士建议设立飞行俱乐部,或是飞行训练学校。 要不然可以在旧机场设立直升机降落坪,让直升机以最短的时间把来自远处乡区的紧急病患者带到斗湖中央医院进行急救和治疗,斗湖医院离开旧机场只有一公里之遥。 此外,也可以考虑把巴士终站搬迁到旧机场,远离拥挤的市中心,这能够帮助缓解交通拥堵。 由于客运巴士终站也是联邦交通部的责任之一,这应该是在他们的职权之下安排。

其实还有许多其他可行的建议把旧机场的土地加以好好利用,以造福斗湖人,并且该土地应该只供于公众用途。 邱氏说他被告知,一些私人公司想要接管这三百英亩的地作为私人发展计划。他希望政府不要批准这种类型的个人利益提案。 大众的利益必须优先受到保护和考量。

在斗湖的新机场,很惊讶的看到有许多地方需要马来西亚机场有限公司(MAB)立即加以关注的。候机大厅的冷气空调系统已经坏大约一个半月,到现在并没有看任何维修迹象。在炎热的候机室里只有两座大型风扇。 此外,该处的电灯也不足够,而且有许多地方灯光不足,许多灯都没有开,试图在节省电费吗? 有人投诉说,机场的食堂只营业到下午五点,很多乘客都买不到食品和饮料,该食堂的时间应该是按照航班的时间经营。 另外,厕所很不干净和该地板都已毁坏。马来西亚机场有限公司必须立即纠正机场的遭糕情况,因为斗湖机场是旅游业重要的门户。