Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Transport Minister orders Probe on Delay in Finishing Runway

KUALA LUMPUR: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy has ordered an investigation into allegations that the recent resurfacing of the Penang International Airport runway could not be finished on time due to inadequate premix material.

As a result, the airport in Bayan Lepas had to be closed from 12.30pm to 3pm on Tuesday for extended work on the runway.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said in Penang on yesterday that the appointed contractor could not finish resurfacing the runway on Monday night.

He slammed the contractor for failing to complete the task because of a lack of premix.

“This is not a good excuse as the contractor must anticipate the requirement based on the work schedule,” he told pressmen, adding that the airport closure affected 20 domestic and international flights.

Chan has directed Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and the Department of Civil Aviation to look into the matter.

“I’m very unhappy,” said the minister who wants MAHB and DCA to submit a report as soon as possible.

Chan told MAHB and the DCA to find out whether proper procedures and practices were applied when the resurfacing work was carried out.

“I also want to know who should be responsible, the contractor or the officials supervising the work,” he said.

Chan conveyed the Goverment’s apology to passengers affected by the flight snags.

MAHB said in a statement on Tuesday that the airport was closed for safety reasons after loose pebbles were found on the runway and repair work had to be carried out immediately.

Source : STAR
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