by NG MIN SHEN and pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS
MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is awaiting the final designs for its planned expansion of the contact pier building at the main terminal of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
MAHB MD Datuk Badlisham Ghazali (pic) said the company has launched a tender for the design and consultancy portion of the intended expansion, that would enable the management to meet the budget that is needed for the project.
“There are plans to consider expanding the contact pier building. When we see the final designs, we will know the exact amount, and we will make a decision and announcement then,” he told the media when met at the Invest Malaysia 2017 conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Badlisham said although the initial cost of design is sizeable as MAHB is “a running airport”, there is room to grow without jeopardising its daily operations.
“We don’t have to reconfigure other existing operations for expansion. The question is whether to go full-blown or do it in phases,” he stated.
He added that the expansion is estimated to allow another five to six million passengers in capacity.
“Currently, if you combine KLIA and the KLIA2, they can handle up to 75 million passengers but we have about 55 million at the moment.
“So, we will leverage on existing facilities and assets first,” he said.
MAHB last year entered into talks with the government and airline operators for a proposed expansion of KLIA, said to aid the airport in accommodating high passenger traffic particularly during peak hours.
Badlisham said the expansion will cater to larger volumes of passengers, important areas like check-in and immigration.
“Automation will be key at the check-in area and security. People are saying there’s no room for additional counters at immigration, which is not true because airport configuration includes what we call ‘back-to-back’.
“Sometimes we see designs for three counters in a row, so that’s possible to handle the passenger volume,” he said.