The history of airports in Malaysia could be traced to the Taiping airport that was opened in 1929. Today, there are 39 airports currently operated by Malaysia Airports in Malaysia. Out of these airports, there are four that stand out for their history and distinct features.
First on the list, is the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport that is located at Subang Skypark Terminal. The airport started operations on 30 August 1965. It was widely known then for having the longest runway in South East Asia, with 3.7km length and 45m width. Now it serves as a hub for domestic and regional flights. The airport is also restricted to propeller flights as well as private and corporate aircraft.
This next airport is located in the “land of a hundred handshakes”. Lying at an altitude of 1,066 above sea level is the Bario STOLport. It is the highest airport in Malaysia. The dense jungle-covered topography of the highlands makes it very difficult for land transports to go through it. Air travel is the only realistic choice of transportation for the villagers living in the area. The airport serves as a gateway to the Kelabit Highlands.
In Sarawak, there is another airport that is worth mentioning. It is none other than the Kuching International Airport. Built in 1940, the airport serves as a connecting gate away for Sarawakians to neighbouring states such as Sabah and countries like Brunei. It’s also one of the busiest airports in Malaysia with a traffic record of 5 million passengers annually. As part of its commitment to ensuring the highest level of comfort for passengers, the airport is the first in Malaysia to introduce cashless service payment for their facilities. In order to use the service, customers only need to download Vcash, an e-wallet app from DIGI onto their smartphones. Amazing, right? You basically just need your passport and phone whenever you’re flying to Kuching.
This airport has been in the Guinness World Records. Standing at 13.8m above land and 141.9m above sea level, the air control tower (ATCT) for klia2 is the tallest of its kind in the world. The building is made up of 33 floors and is named Tower West. The function of the tower is to monitor the operation of Air Traffic Control for klia2 and Runaway 3. It also the backup ATCT for KLIA’s Tower East in case of emergencies.
Written by Elle Zee.