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20 August 2018

SEPANG- The recent completion on the baggage handling system (BHS) upgrade at Kota Kinabalu International Airport has increased the airport’s baggage handling efficiency by 70% from about 4,300 bags per hour to more than 7,200 bags per hour. The upgrade amounting to nearly RM19 million involved the installation of in-line hold baggage screening (ILHBS) at the check-in counters, a baggage handling system that is similar to the one at KL International Airport (KLIA). The implementation of the ILHBS has reduced the long queues and congestion, as well as making the check-in process faster and more convenient for the passengers. In addition to the new baggage handling system, 28 more operational improvements and upgrade projects have been identified for KKIA involving an additional investment of RM 23 million.  


According to Malaysia Airports acting group CEO, Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin, “We have been focused on identifying optimisation initiatives for all our airports to improve efficiency, particularly at the busier airports. Ever since the transfer of operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1, KKIA has been registering double digit growth. When compared to the preceding years, passenger traffic movement growth was 10.5% and 10.2% for 2016 and 2017 respectively. Number of airlines operating and total aircraft movements at KKIA have also increased. Currently there are 18 airlines operating from KKIA with five new foreign airlines starting operations from 2016 onwards namely Lucky Air, Batik Air, Air Seoul, Xiamen Air and Thai AirAsia. As at July 2018, KKIA has registered close to 2,000 more aircraft movements compared to the same period last year giving passengers better connectivity and more choices. It was in anticipation of this growth that we planned several upgrades, the ILBHS being one of them. In fact, we have received good feedback from passengers on this improvement to their airport experience. This was validated through the results of our service quality survey for check-in process – increasing from 83.7 to 87.6.”


Through the automated ILHBS, baggage will be screened, sorted and tracked on conveyor belts connected to a centralised screening system and control room. “This is a superior screening process that allows for a second level screening when the first screening of the baggage triggers suspicion,” said Raja Azmi.


As at July 2018, KKIA registered 4.9 million passenger traffic movements. More upgrades and investments will be undertaken at KKIA, not only to cater to this growth but also with a view towards improving total airport experience. These include the addition of immigration counters from the current 10 to 20 counters, and the installation of additional passenger boarding bridges. 


Raja Azmi added, “Airport upgrades remain a key focus area in our business plan. In fact, in 2018 alone we are spending RM363 million in capital expenditure for 252 projects at 26 of our airports not including KLIA. These airports include even our corporate responsibility airports or STOLports where we do not collect any passenger service charge. Specifically, for the state of Sabah, capacity and efficiency improvement projects are being carried out at Lahad Datu amounting to RM 700,000, Sandakan amounting to RM 4.3 million and Tawau amounting to RM 6.8 million.”  

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