MAHB, govt mulls new terminal ‘KLIA3’ within 5 years

The new terminal will most likely be built on the northern part of KLIA and KLIA2, says Badlisham

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and the government are in talks to build a third terminal after the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2, to cater to the growing number of passengers over the past few years.

MAHB MD Datuk Seri Badlisham Ghazali said MAHB and the government plan to build the new terminal within the next five years.

“Last year, about 59 million passenger arrivals were recorded at the KLIA and KLIA2 combined. The airport expansion will help cater to more arrivals,” Badlisham said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Senior Aerospace UPECA’s manufacturing plant in Subang Aerotech Park, Shah Alam, yesterday.

The International Air Transport Association believes that 7.8 billion people will be travelling by 2036 with the majority coming from the Asia-Pacific region.

Badlisham said the new terminal will most likely be built on the northern part of the KLIA and KLIA2.

He also did not rule out the possibility of building a fourth runway at the new terminal, though it might still be too early for it because the current three runways are underutilised.

“Although a fourth runway is already in the masterplan, it could be decades before we need one,” Badlisham said.

Badlisham said MAHB would, in the meantime, focus on increasing the number of passengers with measures that do not involve building a new terminal first. One example is the baggage handling system upgrade, which is expected to have the capacity of handling an additional five million passengers.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, which was previously known as the Department of Civil Aviation, is also upgrading the air traffic control system starting from this year up until 2019, said Badlisham.

Badlisham said the Subang Aerotech Park is expected to attract more than RM1 billion in investments within the next five years, supporting over 5,000 jobs.

The aerospace hub’s first tenant is Senior Aerospace UPECA, a UK-based manufacturer and assembly company in built-to-print structural components for civil aircraft.

Construction of the 178,000 sq ft, built-to-suit manufacturing plant will begin in the first half of the year and will be handed over by December this year.

The project will be constructed on a 2.83ha plot of the total 24.28ha Subang Aerotech Park and developed by Axis-REIT Managers Bhd.

Senior Aerospace UPECA has invested RM151 million in the new facility.

Subang is at the centre of Malaysia’s aerospace industry vision with about 70 aerospace companies already based within the ecosystem.

According to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the Malaysian aerospace industry is expected to grow to RM55 billion in revenue by the year 2030 and create roughly about 32,000 jobs.

Last year, the industry recorded a revenue of RM13.5 billion, where manufacturing, and maintenance, repair and overhaul sectors contributed 49% and 46% respectively.