The Penang International Airport registered the highest growth rate among airports in Malaysia last year, recording a 25% increase with some 4.1 million passengers in 2010 compared with 3.3 million the year before.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) senior general manager Datuk Azmi Murad said the increase highlighted the need to expand the airport from its current peak-hour passenger capacity of 1,291 per hour to as many as 2,000 per hour.
The second highest increase among airports was registered by the KL International Airport (KLIA) which saw a passenger volume hike of 14% over the same period.
Azmi said this during a media tour of the Penang airport’s expansion and renovations exercise here over the weekend.
The RM250 million project, implemented through funding from the federal government, would give a new modern iconic facade to the airport. The whole project is expected to be completed in June 2012.
The expansion also entails increasing the terminal capacity to 51,543 sq m from the current 27,526 sq m, while the number of car park bays would be raised from to more than 2,000 from 1,200, Azmi said.
The airport would also have more than 10,000 sq m of commercial space dedicated lounges for their passengers.
MAHB is also considering building an airport hotel and multi-storey car park art the site, but details on these have not been confirmed yet, he added.
A total of 13 commercial passenger airlines and nine cargo airlines currently operate at the Penang Airport, for domestic and regional flights.
Azmi also announced that a key road currently being used for vehicles to drive up to the airport’s present departure lobby will be closed from April 1 till the end of July to facilitate the renovation works.
He said the authorities have planned a temporary loop to be jointly used by vehicles going to the departure and arrival sections, as well as for public transport vehicles. Traffic will be regulated and managed by Rela, the police and airport officials.
Source : The SUN
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