Kota Kinabalu International Airport serves the city of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, Malaysia. It is located about 8 km southwest of the city centre and is the second busiest airport in Malaysia.
The airport is the main gateway to the state of Sabah and to Borneo Island. The new terminal building (Terminal 1) opened in 2008 offers all the conveniences of a modern airport, including a variety of shopping and dining options. In Terminal 1 of the Departure Hall, you’ll find McDonald’s while on Level 1 of the Arrival Hall, you’ll find OldTown White Coffee.
The airport first began as a military airfield in World War II. It was then known as Jesselton Airfield (Kota Kinabalu was previously known as Jesselton). After the war, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) of North Borneo (now Sabah) took charge of the operations and maintenance of the airport.
In 1970s and 1980s, a new terminal building on the other side of the runway began serving almost all commercial flights. From then until recently, the original terminal became known as Airport Lama ("old airport"). In 1992, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad took over the management and operations of the airport.
A further expansion project began in 2006 for both terminals, and in January 2007 the original terminal was renamed Terminal 2, and the new terminal became Terminal 1.
Terminal 1 new wing (phase 1) was completed and opened for commercial use on August 19, 2008. A beautiful view of the mountains is available from the departure hall of the airport, so don’t forget to whip out the camera for some last-minute photography before checking in.
The airport is close to many hotels. Some of them include the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort and The Pacific Sutera. All offer nice views and luxurious amenities.