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Sibu Airport

Sibu Airport
Lapangan Terbang Sibu
Airport type Public
Owner Government of Malaysia
Operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
Serves Bintangor, Sarikei, Kapit, and Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia
Location Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia
Elevation AMSL 122 ft / 37 m
Coordinates 02°15′41″N 111°59′07″E / 2.26139°N 111.98528°E / 2.26139; 111.98528
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13/31 2,754 9,036 Asphalt
Statistics (2008)
Passengers 831,772
Aircraft movements 14,672
Cargo in tonnes 735
Sources: official web site and DAFIF

Sibu Airport (IATA: SBW, ICAO: WBGS) is an airport located in Sibu, a town in the state of Sarawak in Malaysia. In 2008, the airport handled 831,772 passengers on 14,672 flights and also handled 735 metric tonnes of cargo.

In April 2009, the airport was given RM 150 million for an upgrade of the terminal building. Its terminal will be larger than Miri Airport and Bintulu Airport.On September 23 2010,Sarawak Minister of Finance and Public Health Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh had announced that the expansion project is now on.The expansion project,is estimated to be completed in 2012.


Old Airport

The first airport in Sibu was built in Teku,during World War II by the Japanese as a basic air strip.However,the airstrip was heavily bombed by Allied Forces. After the war, the airport was further developed to house basic airport amenities such as departure lounge and public waiting area. The airport was capable to support Fokker 50 and Twin Otter flights.

On 15 August 1990, a Lockheed C-130H Hercules belonging to the Malaysian Royal Air Force skidded off the runway and the aircraft had been written off. It was believed that those on board are part of the royal entourage visit to Sibu.

On 2 September 1992, a Fokker 50 aircraft landing gear failed, causing the aircraft to veered off the runway and into the bushes.

The old airport has been demolished to make way for Laila Taib College (formerly known as UCS-United College of Sarawak) & Tun Zaidi Stadium. The runway of the old airport can still be seen and half of it is used as the connecting road for the stadium.

New Airport

The actual official date of operation of the new airport began 1 June 1994. On 31 May 1994 the inaugural landing of four Malaysia Airlines aircraft occurred. To be precise, the aircraft were 3 Fokker 50 and 1 Boeing 737. They were the pioneers to land on the Sibu New Airport Runway which at that time measured 1,981 metres in length and 45 metres wide.

On that remarkably historical night, the air traffic clearance “Clear to land” was issued from the Sibu Air Traffic Control Tower on the assigned frequency 122.6 MHZ to the first Boeing 737-500 to land on the asphalt surface of the designated Runway 13.

That night not only marked the first landing of a turbo-prop commercial aircraft on Sibu ground but subsequently it also commemorated the commencement of operation of the new airport located 23 kilometres East South-East of Sibu town.

Sibu New Airport was built with a single runway designated as Runway 13/Runway 31. It was previously 1,981 metres long and 45 metres wide but since the completion of the extension under the 7th Malaysian Plan (RMK7) for ‘Sibu Airport Development Plan’, the length was extended to 2,745 metres. And the new runway length was commissioned to be used on the 9 May 2006. The extended length is able to cater the landing of an Airbus A330 or other wide bodied jet aircraft.

Runway 13 is equipped with an approach lighting system called Precision Approach Lighting Category 1, whereas Runway 31 with Simple Approach Lighting System. The other airside areas such as the taxiways (‘A’ and ‘B’) and apron are also furnished with appropriate lighting aids. The maximum capacity of the parking apron is one Airbus, two Boeing 737-400s, two Fokker 50 and two Twin Otter or similar aircraft. Only bay 2 and 3 are equipped with aerobridges functioning on Visual Docking and Guidance System. The functional Runway is also equipped with landing aids such as the Middle Marker (MM), Glide Path (GP), the Localizer (LLZ) and the PAPI. All the stated instruments are installed to be utilized by aircraft to assist them during the final approach process and landing manoeuvres.

Source: [1]

Airlines and destinations

Passenger terminals

Airlines operating in Sibu Airport
Airlines Destinations
AirAsia Domestic: Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching
Malaysia Airlines
  • MASwings
Domestic: Kuala Lumpur, Kuching
  • Domestic: Bintulu, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri,Limbang (via Miri)

Traffic and statistics

Overall Operational Statistics
Years Passenger Movements Aircraft Movements Cargo Movements in Metric Tonnes
1995 624,738 18,905 2,455
1996 654,7854.81% 20,243 7.08% 1,75828.39%
1997 631,7013.53% 19,551 3.42% 1,9048.3%
1998 555,48312.07% 17,099 12.54% 1,49921.27%
1999 620,83011.76% 16,096 5.87% 1,74516.41%
2000 657,3755.89% 15,743 2.19% 1,8747.39%
2001 725,44910.36% 16,995 7.95% 2,0067.04%
2002 759,7044.72% 17,113 0.69% 1,9164.49%
2003 817,687 7.63% 16,885 1.33% 1,70111.22%
2004 903,108 10.45% 17,650 4.53% 1,5677.88%
2005 920,930 1.97% 17,330 1.81% 1,37712.13%
2006 898,9232.39% 15,638 9.76% 1,04024.47%
2007 809,9559.9% 12,536 19.84% 89214.23%
2008 831,7722.7% 14,672 17.00% 73517.50%
Busiest Domestic Flights of Sibu Airport by Frequency
Rank Destinations Departure (Weekly) Arrival (Weekly)
1 Kuching 56 49
2 Kuala Lumpur 28 28
3 Kota Kinabalu 21 28
4 Miri 21 21
5 Bintulu 14 14
6 Johor Bahru 4 4

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General Info
Country Malaysia
Time UTC+8
Latitude 2.261603
02° 15' 41.77" N
Longitude 111.985322
111° 59' 07.16" E
Elevation 122 feet
37 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 000° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes

TWR 122.6
GND 121.9
ATIS 127.65
APP 122.6

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
13/31 9036 x 148 feet
2754 x 45 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME VSI SIBU 059X 112.2 1.4 NM 308.4
NDB NIS SIBU - 203 1.3 NM 308.3

CAUTION 441' hill on final Rwy 31 427' fr thld. Pilots ldg use extreme caution.
FUEL (NC-100, A1)
OPR HOURS Opr 2230-1300Z, OT PPR fr KINABALU FIC before 0800Z.
RSTD All acft to avoid flying at 500' or below over the ammunition depot 1.7NM fr Thld Rwy 13.

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