MAHB to replace KLIA baggage handling system

The tender process to procure a new upgraded system will start this year

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) could spend up to RM300 million to replace the baggage handling system at the 20-year-old Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Malaysia’s main international gateway, which managed 28.1 million passengers in 2018, has been due for upgrades since its grand opening in June 1998. The airport has about 6.09 million sq ft (565,780 sq m) of floor area — for the main terminal building and satellite building — or the size of 2,168 tennis courts.

MAHB corporate communications GM Nik Anis Nik Zakaria (picture) said the tender process to procure a new upgraded baggage handling system will start this year.

“We plan to upgrade and replace the baggage handling system with a new technology and provide the best services for passengers,” Nik Anis said during a familiarisation tour on the baggage handling system in Sepang yesterday.

She said the exercise to upgrade the baggage handling system — spanning 42km of conveyor line to deliver passenger bags, will be executed in the next three years in phases to prevent disruption to the airport’s operations.

The airport operator is expected to spend between RM250 million and RM300 million for the exercise.

The programme will include the entire baggage handling system at KLIA including replacement for new screening equipments, sorters and conveyor lines.

She said MAHB will set up saviour or backup lines to handle baggages to ensure minimal interruptions during the exercise.

The airport operator also believed the new system would improve efficiency and security screening. The KLIA baggage handling system is nearing its end-of-life cycle.

At present, KLIA’s baggage arrival on-time performance service level agreement is aimed at 20 minutes (first bag) for the main terminal and 25 minutes for the satellite building.

Meanwhile, short shipment index for departure bag is targeted at 5.5 bags for every 10,000 passengers, compared to the index of 19.2 bags for every 10,000 bags achieved by Asian regional standards in 2018.

The airport attained an ave- rage short shipment index of 4.7 per 10,000 passengers last year. KLIA and KLIA2 handled about 60 million passengers last year and 31 million baggages annually.

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