New airport plan put aside: Minister

National 1 minute, 55 seconds


THE Minister of Communications yesterday put an end to speculation whether or not Brunei will have a new airport, saying that the plan has been aside.

"A consultant was assigned to monitor the situation recently but due to the amount of land needed to build a new airport, which is 8km by 5km, the plan was set aside, and a plan has been handed over to a local consultant for the expansion of the existing airport," Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Hj Abu Bakar Hj Apong said.

He was responding to a question raised by appointed Council member Hj Sulaiman Hj Ahai on the feasibility studies conducted for a new airport or the expansion of the current airport.

"The master plans were only prepared for the expansion of the current Brunei International Airport," he said.

Members of the public have been speculating that the government would build a new airport as the capacity of the current airport is nearing its limit.

The minister also responded to questions raised by another appointed Council member, Hj Mohd Shafiee Ahmad from the Belait District, on whether the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) specifically the Meteorological section is equipped to give out information regarding the weather conditions in specified districts.

"Brunei utilises three different systems to read the weather," said the minister, pointing out that these systems and their specific functions add up to how the section reads and predicts the weather for the whole country.

The Meteorological section of the DCA in the beginning was assigned to provide services for the national flights, however, recently the need for their services has expanded to include other provisions for other agencies, said the minister.

One of the systems is the Doppler Weather Surveillance Radar, which has the ability to monitor the evolution of weather movements or rain that is falling in a certain location.

"Currently the Doppler Weather Surveillance Radar is of a low resolution," he said, adding that there has been a budget allocation specified in the National Development Plans to upgrade the resolution to a higher level.

"Once this has been implemented, we will be able to predict the weather for each and every district," said the minister.

The Brunei Times