Malaysia Airports to fund PIA expansion once agreement gets govt’s approval


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Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is working with its consultant to define the scope of work for the expansion of the Penang International Airport (PIA).

The scope of work will include elements and considerations for airports, such as 4.0 automation, optimisation of aircraft parking bays, carpark facilities and integration as a transportation hub.

“The airport currently has a capacity of 6.5 million passengers per annum (mppa) and the first phase of expansion will bring up the capacity to 12 mppa.

“The expansion for PIA will be guided by the Penang Airport Masterplan and Malaysia Airports’ ability to proceed with the development, which will depend on government approval of the new operating agreement.

“If the agreement is approved, it will allow Malaysia Airports to fund the development,” said MAHB in a statement to The Star.

Meanwhile, Penang infrastructure and transportation committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the completion of the airport’s carpark would be slightly delayed.

“The airport’s carpark was originally slated for completion in May but we are now expecting it to be completed this month.

“Currently, we are putting finishing touches to road and drainage work besides testing and commissioning them.

“The state government has no issues with the expansion project and we are waiting for a decision from Malaysia Airports to start it,” he added.

The PIA has the capacity to take in 25 million passengers a year in 30 years’ time, according to the Penang Airport Masterplan by MAHB.

MAHB chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh reportedly said the capacity would be analysed after the completion of the master plan next year.

“It is bigger than the earlier plan (12 million capacity) as according to a survey, we will reach this level by 2028 and will receive 16 million passengers in 2033.

“The expansion includes four phases and is expected to be completed in about 48 to 60 months,” said Mohd Shukrie during a briefing for the Penang government at Komtar.

The airport’s infrastructure expansion began in 1977. It was fully operational in 1979 with the capacity to accommodate 1.5 million passengers.

It was later expanded again and upgraded in 1998 to a 3.5 million passenger capacity and 6.5 million in 2013.

At present, the PIA expansion project is on hold, pending finalisation of the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP).

The NASP study on airport development is expected to be completed in 2023 in line with the National Transport Policy.

Source: TheStar.com.my

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