PIA expansion project to begin this year

new-pia-view (1)

Artist impression

Penang International Airport (PIA) expansion project will take place this year and will be fully funded by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said this when he made his first official working trip to Penang yesterday, revealing that the expansion, for now, would cater to 12 million passengers per annum.

On Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that PIA and the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (LTSASS) in Subang, Selangor, would be expanded but the construction of the new Kulim airport in Kedah would be stopped.

“The funding will come from MAHB, not from the Federal Government. The Penang International Airport is the third busiest airport in Malaysia and it is commercially viable for MAHB to undertake the project.

“This will also accelerate the project, which will begin this year, probably by the third quarter, and finish within three to four years. MAHB will call for tender in April.

“The airport was upgraded from 2009 until 2013 to cater to a capacity of 6.5 million passengers per annum. But in less than six years, the passenger arrivals exceeded the target in 2019 as it recorded 8.3 million passengers per annum.

“In 2020 and 2021, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number came down. But last year in 2022, the trend (of passenger arrivals) went up. Even though the borders were opened in April, the airport recorded 4.27 million passenger arrivals last year. This shows that this year it will hit more than 8.5 million. Therefore, the Government sees the need for it to be expanded.

“So, MAHB has been directed to fund the project. They are able to do it because they have the funds, and it is a commercially viable project.

“The expansion project will be able to increase the capacity of passenger arrivals from 6.5 million to 12 million passengers per annum, double the capacity,” Loke told a press conference in Komtar.

He added that the control tower at the airport would be relocated to allow the terminal floor space to be increased by 100%.

When Loke was the transport minister in 2018, the Federal Government approved the PIA expansion project, but put it on the back burner after a change of Federal Government.

penang-airport-expansionLoke, reinstated in his job after the formation of the Unity Government following the 15th General Election, said the previous construction design was still valid. He explained that the expansion project does not require any land reclamation or acquisition or relocation of a nearby Chinese school.

Asked by a reporter about the cancellation of the proposed Kulim airport in Kedah, Loke said his ministry has not received any application for an aerodrome operator licence from any private party.

He said moreover Kedah has currently two airports – one in Alor Setar and another in Langkawi.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who received Loke during his courtesy visit earlier, thanked the transport minister for visiting Penang and giving his support to the airport expansion project.

“We’re glad that the minister is here with his delegation to have a meeting with various stakeholders and agencies associated with the airport expansion and other related transport matters.

“The state government will give its full cooperation to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, and will also ask all state government agencies, especially the district and land office, to facilitate the airport expansion project implementation,” Chow said.

Source: Buletin Mutiara

  1. franky
    March 2nd, 2023 at 00:23 | #1

    MAHB???? Sh1t!!! half baked construction again ya! Just look at the multi-storey car park, only one word, hopeless!

  2. jack
    March 2nd, 2023 at 16:32 | #2

    Even artist impression also looks like done by novice, I really pray for the best to happen

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