Labuan and its six smaller islands are about eight kilometres off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia in the typhoon and hurricane free South China Sea. For a small island Labuan has much to offer and is one of Asia’s major international business and finance centres.
Labuan Airport is on the largest island and only a few minutes ride away to the main town of Victoria (Labuan Town). It shares its runway with the Royal Malaysian Air Force and it was announced in December 2012 that Labuan will be one of the main bases for the newly acquired Eurocopter EC725 along with the RMAF base at Kuantan. Four of these helicopters will be stationed here to serve Sarawak and Sabah. Labuan RMAF is ideally located and has excellent facilities for the helicopters which will be primarily used for search and rescue.
The airport is designated as public / military and government owned. The public side of the airport is operated by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad. In 2012 there were 13,589 aircraft movements carrying 617,130 passengers. The handling capacity of the airport is around 1.2 million passengers per year.
Lubuan Airport Terminal is attractive whether you approach it from air or by land. The curving roof shines in the sun and the swordfish fountain on the roundabout welcomes you into the landscaped surroundings.
The terminal is 16,000 metres square and can cope with up to 500 passengers per hour at peak times. There are hi-tech baggage and passenger handling facilities and four sky bridges for ease of access to the aircraft.
There are cafés and duty free shops and if you are feeling peckish the McDonalds outlet is open 24 hours a day! If you have a sweet tooth there is also a chocolate shop.
Flights and Destinations
AirAsia - Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines - Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur
MASWings - Kota Kinabalu, Miri
Transport To and From the Airport
Taxis are available and in common with many Malaysian airports you buy a coupon at the taxi desk in the arrivals hall for a fixed price to your destination. The whole of the island only measures approximately 18 kilometres by 10 kilometres so nowhere is very far away. When you are not at the airport taxis can be flagged down at the roadside or called through the radio-paging system. There are zones for payment from Zone 1 RM6.50 to Zone 9 RM 26.50. Taxis operate 24 hours a day and the number is 013-8838 882 or 019-8408 228. The most famous taxi service on the island is Ganti.
Car rental is available from the airport and there are deals to be done whether you book online or locally. Traffic is minimal so driving is easy.
If you want to walk to the town it won’t take long as the runway is on the edge of the town centre. From the end of the runway to Labuan Marina and the waterfront area is just over two kilometres in a direct line. The town is small enough to get around on foot and is very pedestrian friendly. Most of the drivers crawl along at a snail’s pace and stop to give way to anyone wanting to cross the road.
There are buses from the town to take you round the island, some are actually vans but the locals call them buses. Just be careful where you end up as the bus service stops each day at 7pm!