Tawau Airport

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Tawau Airport
Lapangan Terbang Tawau
Tawau Airport.jpg
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Government of Malaysia
Operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
Serves Tawau Division
Location Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia
Time zone MST (UTC+08:00)
Elevation AMSL 57 ft / 17 m
Coordinates 04°18′48″N 118°07′19″E / 4.31333°N 118.12194°E / 4.31333; 118.12194Coordinates: 04°18′48″N 118°07′19″E / 4.31333°N 118.12194°E / 4.31333; 118.12194
Map
WBKW is located in East Malaysia
WBKW
WBKW
Location in East Malaysia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,685 8,809 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passenger 1,271,915 (Increase 5.7%)
Airfreight (tonnes) 3,570 (Decrease 8.7%)
Aircraft movements 13,280 (Decrease 5.2%)
Sources: official web site[1][2]

Tawau Airport (Malay: Lapangan Terbang Tawau) (IATA: TWUICAO: WBKW) is an airport located 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi) north east[2] of Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia. It is one of two airports in Sabah with immigration counters for international flights, the other being Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Tawau Airport serves the districts of Tawau and Semporna, and is the nearest airport to the diving islands of Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai, all of which are located in the latter district.

History[edit]

The old Tawau Airport was located on Jalan Utara (Malay for 'Northern Road'), about 2 mi (3.2 km) outside Tawau. It was officially opened in 1968 by the then Transport Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Haji Sardon. It could only cater to small aircraft such as the Fokker 27.

By the early 80s, the airport received its first Boeing 737 flight operated by Malaysia Airlines following the newly extended runway. The airport also witnessed regional international destination to Tarakan, Balikpapan and Makassar in Indonesia by Bouraq Indonesian Airlines and Merpati Nusantara Airlines during that period due to the geographical proximity and close socio-economic ties between Tawau and the main eastern Indonesian urban areas.

On 15 September 1995, Malaysia Airlines Flight 2133, a flight from Kota Kinabalu operated by a Fokker 50 aircraft, touched down 500 m (1,600 ft) before the end of the 2,200 m (7,218 ft)-long runway. While attempting a go-around, the aircraft crashed into a shantytown known as Kampung Seri Menanti.[3] There were 34 fatalities, including two crewmembers.[4] In October 2001, another Malaysia Airlines flight (this one operated by a Boeing 737-400) skidded off the runway without causing any injuries or fatalities.

A survey found that the old Tawau Airport had one of the shortest runways in Malaysia. The airport's runway would need to be extended (or a new airport built) to safely accommodate larger aircraft. In view of this, the government announced plans to construct a new airport to be located in the Balung area, approximately 30 km (19 mi) east of downtown Tawau along the Tawau – Semporna highway.

The old Tawau Airport

Present[edit]

The new Tawau Airport was opened to the public in December 2001. In 2003, it was officially opened by the then Transport Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik. With a capacity of over 1.8 million passengers per annum, it is the second largest airport in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu International Airport. In 2008, 768,967 passengers passed through the airport and there were 10,546 aircraft movements.[1]

One of Tawau Airport's two aerobridges in use

At present, Tawau Airport has a 2,685 m × 47 m (8,809 ft × 154 ft)-long runway, namely runway 06/24. Runway 24 is equipped with Instrument Landing System (ILS). The 1 12-storey terminal building is equipped with two aerobridges. The airport can accommodate eight aircraft at any given time, and its car park can accommodate 500 vehicles. In addition, there is a police station opposite the terminal building.

On the arrivals floor, there are counters at which passengers may purchase coupons for airport taxis or tickets for shuttle buses to downtown Tawau.

Immigration counters

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
AirAsia Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur–International
Malaysia Airlines Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur–International
Malaysia Airlines
operated by MASwings
Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tarakan

Traffic and statistics[edit]

Traffic[edit]

Annual passenger numbers and aircraft statistics
Year
Passengers

handled
Passenger

% Change
Cargo

(tonnes)
Cargo

% Change
Aircraft

Movements
Aircraft

%
Change
2003 551,168 Steady 2,701 Steady 8,368 Steady
2004 620,847 Increase 12.6 2,968 Increase 9.9 8,900 Decrease 6.4
2005 680,901 Increase 9.7 3,885 Increase 30.9 9,814 Increase 10.3
2006 660,331 Decrease 3.0 3,030 Decrease 22.0 9,215 Decrease 6.1
2007 736,646 Increase 11.6 2,134 Decrease 29.6 7,992 Decrease 13.3
2008 768,967 Increase 4.4 1,262 Decrease 40.9 8,546 Increase 6.9
2009 866,601 Increase 12.7 1,951 Increase 54.6 9,876 Increase 15.6
2010 897,848 Increase 3.6 3,045 Increase 56.1 10,845 Increase 9.8
2011 922,452 Increase 2.7 3,198 Increase 5.0 10,186 Decrease 6.1
2012 982,153 Increase 6.5 2,489 Decrease 22.2 11,087 Increase 8.8
2013 1,202,344 Increase 22.4 2,844 Increase 14.3 13,896 Increase 26.5
2014 1,218,616 Increase 1.4 3,265 Increase 14.8 14,396 Increase 3.6
2015 1,203,792 Decrease 1.2 3,910 Increase 19.8 14,007 Decrease 2.7
2016 1,271,915 Increase 5.7 3,570 Decrease 8.7 13,280 Decrease 5.2
Source: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad[5]

Statistics[edit]

Rank Destination Frequency
(Weekly)
1 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 56
2 Kuala Lumpur 42
3 Sandakan, Sabah 14
4 Tarakan, Indonesia 7
5 Johor Bahru, Johor 4

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tawau Airport, Sabah at Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
  2. ^ a b WBK - TAWAU at Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia
  3. ^ "Plane Overshoots Runway, Crashes, Killing 34 People". 16 September 1995. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Aircraft accident Fokker 50 9M-MGH Tawau Airport (TWU) on 15 Sep 1995
  5. ^ "MAHB Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Malaysia Airports. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 

External links[edit]