‘Not yet time for second runway at Brunei airport’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Minister of Communications has ruled out the construction of a second runway at the Brunei International Airport, saying it would not offer any additional safety against bad weather.
Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Abdullah Hj Mohd Jaafar asked during yesterday’s session if the construction of a second lane would help prevent incidents such as the skidding off of an AirAsia plane in Brunei last July.
In response Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said a second runway would not make it any more safe for planes to land if weather conditions were severe.
“Even if we had two runways we would still need to request help from neighbouring countries – most commonly Kota Kinabalu – to divert our flights if there are adverse weather conditions,” he said.
The minister added that a previous estimate put the cost of a second runway at $1 billion.
“With such a high cost, we would need to really evaluate if it is cost effective to build the runway, or find alternatives elsewhere,” he said.
A substantial increase in air traffic could justify a second runway, the minister said.
“In a forecast a few years back, it was estimated that the runway at the airport would face congestion by 2026 (approximately),” he said.
Under these conditions, the construction of another runway would be considered, he added.
The Brunei International Airport, with its recent expansion, can accommodate three million passengers annually.
The Brunei Times