Sandakan Airport has received RM110m ($31.5m) from the Malaysian Federal Government to upgrade its airport for the first time since it was built in 1985 under the Sabah development corridor (SDC) programme.

The funding has been allocated under the ‘ninth Malaysian plan’ and a consultant has been hired to manage the upgrade plan, reports quoting a senior government official.

About $20m will be spent on extending the runway to 2,591m to accommodate the Airbus 330.

The expansion and restoration of the main terminal is estimated at nearly $6m.

The official stated that the expansion of the airport was in line with Sandakan district development.

More than 600,000 passengers travelled through the airport last year.