By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH
Malaysian Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) will comply with the decision of implementing the minimal charge imposed by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to all international passengers.
“We are just regulators. If the government decides to go with the charge and starts imposing new regulations, we will follow,” said MAHB chief strategy officer Azli Mohamed at SAP Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s media session with MAHB on the airport operator’s vision in embarking on the digitised airport at the Asian Innovators Summit 2017 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
As for the implementation of the new move, he said it is up to the commission to decide on the appropriate party to collect and manage the charge. Yesterday, The Malaysian Reserve reported that Mavcom will charge RM1 to all international passengers departing from Malaysia.
The move came after the government’s decision to stop funding Mavcom’s activities.
It applies to both Malaysian and foreign air travellers and is a common practice in other countries.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi said the airport tax will enable Mavcom to be fully financially self-sustaining, after being supported by the government for two years.
The Malaysian Aviation Commission (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was tabled earlier this week in the Dewan Rakyat, will allow the commission to start imposing the charge on companies and individuals.
“We are heading towards digitising our airports and are looking at options on how to reduce cost in various areas. We will start with the two airports in Kuala Lumpur — the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2,” he said.
Azli said the digitisation strategy would not be implemented in all MAHB airports as they are operated at different levels.
“It is not practical to go all out at once. Currently, the 39 airports in Malaysia are varied in terms of size and capability,” he said.
In 2015, MAHB launched a five-year business plan, Runway to Success 2020, with the aim to match Malaysia’s aviation businesses with world standards.
“Two years ago, MAHB came up with its digitising strategy and there are several key elements that still need to be achieved,” he said.
At present, MAHB is handling 39 airports domestically and one in Turkey.
Some 43.2 million international passengers have passed through MAHB’s airports in Malaysia in 2016.