The Malaysian Reserve

KLIA Immigration opening common counters to process all types of passports to ease congestion during peak travelling periods

One of several action plans determined during a tripartite collaboration meeting involving Malaysia Airports, Department of Immigration KLIA and Airline Operators Committee to mitigate congestion issues at KLIA 

KUALA LUMPUR – The Department of Immigration KLIA (Immigration) will be opening several common counters to process all types of passports in an effort to reduce passenger queueing time during peak travelling periods. This measure will see Immigration officers processing any passport be it foreign or Malaysian at any available counters in order to ensure that the lines move faster. This decision was informed by the Immigration director-general, Dato’ Seri Haji Mustafar Haji Ali  during a three party collaboration meeting between Malaysia Airports, Immigration and Airline Operators Committee (AOC) held yesterday to deliver improved passenger service levels at KL International Airport (KLIA).

The tripartite meeting, chaired by Mustafar is focused on reducing passenger queue times at the airport. There should not be any concerns that the implementation of the common counter system will make queueing time for Malaysian passengers longer as the autogate option is still available.  

According to Malaysia Airports managing director, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, “This new common counter system will work well following the previously implemented counter guiding light system we had installed in September 2017.  The counter guiding light system serves as a method to quickly usher passengers to the next counter as soon as it becomes available. This had proven to reduce passenger queueing time significantly.” 

Badlisham also said that the airport operator is piloting a digital initiative with Immigration as part of a bigger digitalisation initiative at the airport to improve total airport experience for all our airport users. “We need to properly understand and analyse our data so that we can all work together with one common objective to serve our passengers better. Thus, we will be working closely with all parties to attain the necessary data to facilitate the automation of passenger queue management. Automation of the system and real-time data analysis will allow us to make better and quicker decisions on how to ease the congestion at the airport.”

Badlisham further commented, “Nevertheless, the human touch remains important as we wish to be a friendly airport in all respects. For example, we are also deploying the Airport CARE Ambassadors who are part of our newly formed customer experience team to help with managing the queues and attending to passenger needs. I am also glad to know that Immigration has also committed that 30 counters will be opened and manned around the clock at the arrival level, and 10 counters at the departure level of KLIA Main Terminal.”

The airport operator is working with several other parties as well to reach this common objective. Apart from the placement of Immigration pre-read kiosks at KLIA last year to enable Malaysians to check their immigration status with ease prior to passing through passport control, counters were also set up by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) at the airport to facilitate blacklisted individuals who need to settle their arrears before being allowed to travel abroad.

Chairman of AOC Mokhtar Othman who formed the third party of the tripartite collaboration applauded the proactive efforts taken by all parties to ensure better service for the passengers. “We want to see our passengers enjoy a seamless journey through the airport and we are more than happy to facilitate any requirements towards this objective,” Mokhtar gave his assurance on the matter.

During the meeting, the three parties also discussed on future improvement plans such as the rearrangement and restructuring of the counter locations to make the process flow smoother for both foreign and local passengers. Immigration will also be installing 10 additional autogates at KLIA and klia2 each. Both initiatives will be implemented after Chinese New Year this year in order not to disrupt the heavy passenger movement during the festive season.