MinComm to engage public in airport development
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Communications will be inviting the public to take part in an expression of interest to turn an existing space in the Brunei International Airport into a transit hotel.
Communications Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat told The Brunei Times recently that the government is keen to involve the public and seek ideas on how best to improve the system in managing the airport.
“The whole idea of our airport is that we are competing with other airports as well.
We are sharing with the public our future plans for the airport in terms of facilities, such as transit facilities and hotels,’’ the minister said.
YB Dato Hj Mustappa said there is currently a space for such a facility. However, they have yet to establish whether it is suitable for hotels because of the existing mechanical and electrical systems there.
“This is the old place where Royal Brunei Catering used to be. However, if the transit hotel will be established, it will not be far from the food court area. We are going to invite the public for an expression of interest to see whether they can transform it into an airport transit hotel,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said they have identified a designated place within the main terminal of the airport which is suitable for transit passengers to smoke.
“It is far away from the public area, and it is very open with efficient air circulation,’’ YB Dato Hj Mustappa said.
This area has been identified, but does not mean it is already open for transit passengers to smoke as the ministry is still in discussion with other agencies for the allowance of smoking among transit passengers.
The minister said there is an existing law in Brunei governing smoking here under the Tobacco Act.
“We are talking with the Ministry of Health, and we are looking at providing this facility only for transit passengers and not for Bruneians. As far as Bruneians are concerned, they are still bound by the law and can be prosecuted,’’ the minister said.
On March 17 at the Legislative Council sitting, the minister said he will still discuss with other agencies if the site can be exempted from this regulation, as the airport has to cater to travellers who transit in the sultanate.
The Brunei Times