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PM Performs Ground Breaking Ceremony For Penang International Airport Development And Expansion

20 December 2010

Bayan Lepas, 20 December 2010 - The Prime Minister, YAB Dato' Sri Najib Tun Hj. Abdul Razak officiated the ground breaking ceremony for the development and expansion works for Penang International Airport (PIA) today. This marks another significant milestone of the aviation history of Malaysia.

Targeted to be completed by June 2012, the cost of total development and expansion works is RM250 million, being part of the second economic stimulus package announced by the Government last year. This project is also part of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) blueprint, which was launched two years ago.

Dato' Sri Najib said: "This is another Federal Government's initiative to enhance the facilities and services at this airport, as Penang is a catalyst in the tourism industry's growth. This development and expansion project will give Penang the competitive edge in the effort to transform Penang into a logistic hub."

He added: "With globalisation, providing the best air travel services and facilities without a doubt is an important vehicle to promote trade and investments into the country. In the New Economic Model implementation I stressed on these two factors, wealth generation and employment generation, and I believe that the expansion of the terminal stands to deliver the results outlined in the New Economic Model."

Dato' Sri Najib elaborated: "I am happy to know that this new terminal will encompass state-of-the-art architecture, facilities and interior design to provide better comfort level to airlines and passengers alike. With Malaysia Airports' expertise in airport operation services - that has been acknowledged locally and also internationally- I am confident that the new terminal construction will not only meet, but surpass expectations."

Y.B. Dato' Sri Kong Cho Ha, Minister of Transport Malaysia expressed his confidence on Penang's passenger movement growth: "There are about 3.7 million passengers using the terminal and I believe, with the rapid tourism growth, the passenger movement will keep on increasing."

He also lauded Malaysia Airports for its commitment and initiative in ensuring that passengers and airport users are provided with an enhanced experience when travelling though any of the airports. "I believe their dedication in this project will ensure that all facilities at the airport are in excellent conditions at all times and services offered are up to the required standard," he said.

Y.Bhg. Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports said: "With our renewed airport operator status in mind, we are evolving our airports from the traditional airport model into the Best Practice Model whereby great emphasis is placed on efficiency and providing an enhanced total customer experience to the airport users. The upgrading of the Penang International Airport is in line with the Malaysia Airports' 5-year business direction and its master plan for the development of the Penang International Airport."

The extension works, which commenced late June this year, involve three main packages. The first package involves upgrading works to the main infrastructure, utility and related buildings while the second package involves upgrading of the main terminal building. The third package will involve upgrading of facilities at the airside areas.

Upon the completion of the upgrading works, the significant changes will be:

  • Doubling of floor area from 27,500 square meters to 52,000square meters

  • Increase in passenger throughput from 3.5 million to 5 million passengers

  • Improving the comfort level to 25 square meters per passenger

  • Increasing the ability to handle peak hour passenger traffic from 1300 to 2000 passengers per hour

  • Increase in aircraft parking bays, immigration, customs and security screening counters

  • Increase in baggage reclaim carousels

  • Doubling of the departure curbside lanes

  • More public seating and public toilets

  • Increase of car parking lots from 1,200 bays to 2000 bays

In addition, there are two significant new features which are not there in the current terminal:

  1. The inline baggage screening that will improve passenger flow as they will no longer have to screen their baggage before check-in

  2. Terminal will provide the segregation of international and domestic passengers, as well as further segregation of international arriving and departing passengers. This is in line with the government's requirement for such segregation to be done to enhance our security arrangements

The whole façade of the terminal will also take a new look, to feature a more modern and contemporary concept.

"With all the expansion and upgrading of this airport, we hope that not only will we be able to enhance the total customer experience at the airport, but also provide an impetus for the growth of traffic and tourism into the state", Tan Sri Bashir further added.

Penang International Airport was previously known as Bayan Lepas International Airport. The current terminal building was built in 1977 and officially opened in June 1979. Over the years it has undergone numerous upgrades to cater to the demands from airlines, passengers, government agencies at the airport and also public at large.

Currently, the airlines servicing Penang International Airport are MAS, AirAsia, Firefly, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways International, Wings Air, Silk Air, China Southern Airlines, China Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Tiger Airways and Sriwijaya Air.

Last year, PIA handled a total of 3,312,819 passenger movements and 36,822 aircraft movement. Up to November this year, the airport handled a total of 3,717,625 passenger movements, an increase of 26.4% for the same period in 2009.

Penang International Airport received the Airport of The Year 2009 award (Below 15 Million Passengers Annually) in the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Aerospace & Defence Award and named Best Emerging Airport-Asia 2009 (Cargo Less Than 500,000 Tonnes Per Year) in the Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA). The airport has also received the Safety Management System (SMS) from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) last year to become one of the first five airports in Asia to obtain this certification.

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