The end of the runway at Bintulu Airport is only three kilometres from the South China Sea so there are some good views to be had as you fly in and out. The airport is about six kilometres from the city and although not very big in 2012 handled 661,553 passengers and 12,294 aircraft movements.
Bintulu is not an international airport but there are daily connections to Kuala Lumpur where more choice of onward flights is available. When you check in you will find that all flights that go outside of the Sarawak region are considered “international” even if they are going to destinations in Malaysia.
The airport is owned by the Government of Malaysia and operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.
There has been an airport here since 1937 when the British built a small airfield with the sea at one end and the river at the other.
In 1955 the grass runway started being used by Borneo Airways with the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer and de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide aircraft. By 1963 bigger aircraft were using Bintulu and the DC-3 was a common site. Passenger numbers were increasing and by 1966 the runway had a tarmac surface and the terminal facilities were expanded to cope with demand.
Fokker 27 services were introduced in 1968 and the airport was extended again in 1981 so the bigger Fokker 50 could be accommodated.
The Bintulu airport we know today is 23 kilometres from where the old airport originally was and started operating from here in December 2002. Between 2002 and 2007 more airlines started operating from Bintulu including AirAsia, FlyAsianExpress and MASwings.
The old airport is now used for ceremonies and events like the International Borneo Kite Festival.
While you are waiting for your flight there is a restaurant on the lower ground floor called Niah café where you can get hot and cold food, drinks and snacks. It can prove to be quite expensive to eat there.
Flights and Destinations
Air Asia – Kuala Lumpur and Kuching
Malaysia Airlines – Kuala Lumpur and Kuching
Malaysia Airlines (MASwings) – Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Miri, Sibu
Transport To and From the Airport
The town of Bintulu is a 20 minute taxi ride away from the airport and you can buy a fixed price taxi coupon from outside the arrivals hall. There are no buses directly to or from the airport but if you are feeling adventurous you can walk the 1.5 kilometres out to the main road and catch the Jepak bus that will take you into town. Not many people actually do this and it is far better to have some cash ready for the taxi fare.
The airport is just off the Pan Borneo Highway so access by car is easy and the fairly straight stretch through trees will have you in Bintulu very quickly.
For independent travellers once you are in Bintulu there are excellent bus connections to other regions in Sarawak.
Bintulu Airport Arrivals
Bintulu Airport Departures
Routes To Bintulu Airport
- Kota Kinabalu to Bintulu
- Kuala Lumpur, Sepang to Bintulu
- Kuching to Bintulu
- Miri to Bintulu
- Sibu to Bintulu