Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) main contractor bankrupt

1 12 2010

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The airport first began as a military airfield built by the Japanese occupying forces during World-War II. It was then known as Jesselton Airfield (Kota Kinabalu was previously known as Jesselton). Towards the end of the war, it suffered severe bombings by Allied Forces until the surrender of the Japanese army in 1945.

In mid 2005, the Malaysian government approved a project for major renovation and extension of KKIA worth RM1.4 billion. The project saw the 2,988 m (9,803 ft) runway extended to 3,780 m (12,402 ft) and the size of the main airport terminal building (Terminal 1) increased from 34,000 m2 (370,000 sq ft) to 87,000 m2 (940,000 sq ft). The new airport terminal building will be able to accommodate four Boeing 747s, one Airbus A330, seven Boeing 737s, three Fokker 50s and threeDorniers at any one time. It will also have 12 jetways for passenger use. The present air traffic control tower which is attached to the main terminal building will be demolished and will be replaced by a separate, stand alone tower. The whole project including the runway extension is scheduled to be completed by mid-2009.

When the overall project is completed, the airport will be able to accommodate the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. The airport will also be the second largest airport in Malaysia with an annual capacity of 12 million passengers — 9 million from Terminal 1 and 3 million from Terminal 2.

However, the main contractor for the KKIA project, businessman Tan Sri Dr Ting Pek Khiing, the former developer of the Bakun project via Ekran Bhd, has been declared a bankrupt on October 28 by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

The News

The Transport Ministry will ensure the completion of the airport runway and Tanjung Aru flyover projects following the bankruptcy declaration against its contractor, Tan Sri Dr Ting Pek Khiing.

Dr Ting is Managing Director of Global Upline Sdn Bhd (GUSB) that was awarded the two mega projects here by the Government.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the State Government became worried following the bankruptcy move and sought advice from the Ministry.

“The Ministry promised to look for solutions (to complete the projects),” he said. Musa considered the runway project more important because it affected air traffic at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

“We hope the flyover can be completed soon, but our major concern is the runway as it affects other airlines landing in KKIA due to a lot of chartered flights from other countries.

Ting, 67, the developer of the Bakun Hydroelectric Project via Ekran Berhad, of which he is Executive Chairman, was declared a bankrupt after he withdrew his application for the bankruptcy order not to be enforced on him on Nov. 12.

Ting’s bankruptcy declaration follows a legal suit initiated in 2004 after he defaulted on a loan by Bank of Commerce Bhd. That loan was to part-finance his subscription of shares under Ekran’s rights issue in 1997.

As at July 2005, Ting owed some RM60.79 million to the bank.

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