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Long Pasia among 40 RAS routes in Sabah, Sarawak — Mavcom

KOTA KINABALU: Long Pasia is among the 40 Rural Air Service (RAS) routes to be operated by MASwings under the new Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement for 2019 to 2024, said Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) chief operating officer, Azmir Zain.

He said Long Pasia already has an aviation infrastructure with the existing of Short Take-Off and Landing Ports (STOLports) in the area.

“Further discussions with the state government will be held to see the best approach to reactivating and re-operating the STOLport.

“We just commenced talks with the Federal government and are also looking to starting a discussion with the (Sabah) state government about reactivating Long Pasia. Malaysia Airports, another stakeholder, also needs to be engaged.

“Long Pasia has an advantage as it is an existing facility and is just a matter of reactivating and ensuring it meets the various technical standards,” he told a media briefing here yesterday.

Azmir said based on Mavcom’s study, Long Pasia is among rural areas in Sabah that require RAS services to facilitate the folk in the area having an access to other places. He added that besides Long Pasia, rural folk at Bukit Mabong, Kapit, Belaga and Long Silat in Sarawak will also benefit from the RAS services once the infrastructure is developed.

Azmir said the RAS programme is important for Sabah and Sarawak’s economic growth, given that it provides a key service to communities, to not only obtain basic necessities.

“It also empowers small businesses to grow, while allowing children from these communities to access better education,” he added.

According to Azmir, the RAS programme has evolved under the new PSO agreement by being reduced to 40 routes compared with 49 previously, thereby, ensuring the true concept of the service connecting rural, to rural or rural to urban areas. — Bernama

Source: Borneo Post | Jan 16, 2019