Bintulu new RM385mil airport begins operations on Sunday.

The modern airport, about 27km from the town centre, has the longest runway, measuring 2,750m, in East Malaysia that can land Boeing 747 aircraft.

It replaces the old airport in the middle Bintulu that caters only smaller aircraft and a Fokker.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said yesterday that the last flight would depart from the old airport at about 6.10pm tomorrow.

Adnan Samsudin

Its executive director Datuk Adnan Shamsuddin will be on hand to send off passengers on the last flight at the old airport and to greet passengers of the first arriving flight at the new airport on Sunday morning.

The old airport handled about 400,000 passengers last year. It recorded an increasing number of passengers following the revival of the Bakun hydro-electric dam project.

Bintulu is now linked by road to Bakun.

Malaysia Airlines has plans to establish direct flight service on the Bintulu-Kuala Lumpur sector from the new airport, opened by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamed last December.

Bintulu is home to several multi-billion ringgit industrial projects like the liquefied natural gas, Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis and Asean fertiliser plants.