Monday, August 30, 2010

KLIA’s new terminal will serve as economic stimulus

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the new low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) or KLIA2 will serve as an economic stimulus for the country.

The Prime Minister said he expects KLIA2 to boost tourism revenue to RM168 billion by 2020.

“The construction of a project such as this new terminal brings the country many benefits. Not only will it serve as an economic stimulus by providing job opportunities to the people of Malaysia, it will also boost tourism by attracting more airlines and visitors into the country.

“This facility will greatly enhance our vision to increase tourism revenue from the current RM53 billion in 2009 to RM168 billion by 2020,” he said during his speech at the ground breaking ceremony for KLIA2.

He said that local businesses would also benefit from the greater influx of tourists into the country.

“The spill-over effects of having this captive market at our airports is immense, from a commercial perspective, following the footsteps of the established successful airports such as Heathrow London and Schiphol Amersterdam where the airports are much more than just a place to catch flights.

“Malaysia Airports has envisioned our own airports as the platform to drive commercial business. With its vision to be a world-class airport business, I am encouraged to know that besides operating top notch airport facilities and services, there will also be ample retail and commerce opportunities that will allow Malaysian businesses to capitalise and benefit from the influx of tourists and spending power flowing continuously through the arrival and departure gates,” he said.

The targeted completion date for the new LCCT, estimated to cost RM2 billion, is April 2012 based on a 20-month construction period.

The LCCT will be able to cater for 30 million passengers per annum, with potential to expand to 45 million.

A new four kilometre long runway will also be built for the LCCT.

To be known as KLIA2, it is located only two kilometre from the main KLIA terminal.

Najib also noted that AirAsia was the driving force behind low-cost travel growth in the region.

“Over the last 10 years low-cost travel at KLIA has grown on an average of 37 per cent per annum. The double-digit growth is expected to continue for the next five to ten years despite intense competition from other large airports in the region.

“I have to compliment AirAsia for their innovative efforts to stimulate low-cost travel in the country and I applaud Malaysia Airport’s role in supporting the growth of this burgeoning travel segment. Malaysia Airports has anticipated that KLIA as whole would handle over 60 million passengers by 2020 and close to 45 per cent of these passengers are likely to be low-cost travellers,” he said.

Early last year, there was a much publicised tussle between Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), the operator of most of Malaysia’s airports, and Air Asia, the region’s leading low-cost carrier, to build the new LCCT.

That was just after Air Asia announced its intentions to build its own terminal and runway in Labu, Negeri Sembilan to cope with soaring passenger volume and alleged that MAHB would not be able to build an LCCT to suit its needs and ambitions.

Malaysia Airports on the other hand, said that the new LCCT should be built according to its masterplan for KLIA.

The Labu proposal was initially given the green light on January 5th by the government, but it reversed its decision about three weeks later after a public outcry erupted as it was seen as building another airport just a few kilometres away from KLIA and thus duplicating resources.

Najib stressed that KLIA2 was designed with consideration for AirAsia’s requirements.

“I am glad to note that while this new terminal is designed with great consideration for the requirements of the region’s largest low-cost carrier, AirAsia, it will be accessible to all airlines upon completion. With the thriving low cost travel in the region, the new terminal is poised to serve as a hub and attract more low cost carriers to fly to Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

The first phase of the project was awarded to Malaysian infrastructure firm, WCT. The RM363 million contract is for the earthworks and drainage job for the LCCT.

However, MAHB has admitted that the completion of the earthworks for the runaway is behind schedule.

MAHB will also build a multi-modal transportation hub for buses, taxis, and ERL to provide connectivity for not only passengers but also for the public to move from one part of the country to another.

According to the National Airport Masterplan (NAMP), there is room for two additional terminals near the LCCT.

The masterplan was drawn up by Netherlands Airport Consultants BV and KLIA Consultancy Services.

Source : TMI
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