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Penang International Airport Flooding Due To Unusually Heavy Rain

13 March 2012

Sepang, March 13, 2012 - Penang International Airport has been undergoing major renovation and upgrading works for the past one year and Malaysia Airports would like to apologise to the public for the inconvenience and discomfort arising from the construction works at the airport. As the upgrading works are being carried out while the airport is still operational, we are making every effort to minimise disruptions to the operations and inconvenience to passengers.

The unusual bad weather over the past one month has aggravated the situation and affected the terminal operations. Lately the rainfall intensity had increased to as much as 43mm as recorded on 18 February 2012 at Penang airport, which is considered abnormal and caused the flood. Normally Penang receives between 10 to 15mm rainfall intensity.

As part of the upgrading works, Malaysia Airports is in the process of replacing a total of 44 submersible pumps located all over the airport. The pumps are essential to pump out water during heavy rain periods and thus the process of replacement of these pumps is temporarily affecting the effectiveness of the drainage system, particularly during unusual heavy
rain as has been the case over the last one month. Due to this situation, immediate actions together with the contractors and the state government are being taken to overcome
this situation.

As the airport is situated in a low laying area, additional solutions such as the construction of new drainage system to prevent overflowing of water from surrounding area into the arrival kerbside and roads will also be done. Malaysia Airports is also working closely with the local authorities to ensure that proper drainage for the entire area is also looked into, including the silting (the removal of debris, sand and silt) of all the drainage system and the creation of a balancing pond outside of the airport, as a solution to contain the excess water flow from the higher surrounding areas, especially during the heavy rain and high tide.

We would like to thank the Honourable Chief Minister for his feedback and would like to assure the public that continuous improvements to airport drainage will be performed on an ongoing basis and will be completed by June 2012. With the cooperation of all parties involved, we expect that the condition will improve in the next few weeks. We seek the public's patience as the works are being carried out, for the future betterment of Penang airport.

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