6 July 2012
Suggestions that KLIA2, the new low-cost terminal at Sepang, near here, will cost RM5 billion because of cost overruns appear to be misguided, say sources close to the project.
They said that costs could rise to RM5 billion if certain parties dictated terms to Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to build additional facilities not in the current plan.
"As of now, everything is under control and the cost of construction will remain at RM3.9 billion," said one of the well-placed sources.
On claims that the airport would not be completed by its deadline of April 2013, the sources said that construction was on schedule and it was not a question of whether the airport would be ready on time but whether the operators of low-cost airlines could get their act together by then.
It is understood that certain systems for the check-in counters have yet to be submitted to MAHB although the deadline was June 15 this year.
In addition, there are also questions whether facilities undertaken by other parties (not MAHB) like hotels and office buildings would be ready by the second quarter of next year.
The sources said KLIA2 could have been completed this year if not for last-minute requests by certain quarters which consequently extended the schedule.
They said that the costs had also gone up from the original RM2 billion because of requests for additional facilities.
Originally, KLIA2 was to be only a two-storey high building, but this has been increased to an equivalent of nine storeys for a three-level terminal comprising separate departure, arrival and ground support equipment areas.
This meant that the gross floor area of the terminal building has been increased by 71% to 257,000 sq m from the original 150,000 sq m.
The sources said the KLIA2 would be the world's largest purpose-built low-cost terminal with a capacity to accommodate 45 million passengers annually.
They said it was also being built at the lowest cost per passenger with aerobridges and enhanced passenger convenience.
"With the aerobridges, passengers need not walk on the apron anymore," they added.
They said although industry standards dictated that 55 boarding gates would be sufficient to handle 30 million pasengers annually, MAHB had accommodated requests to increase the number of boarding gates to 68.
MAHB had also made provisions for a fully automated baggage handling system although there had been earlier requests for a non-fully automated one.
To cater for higher passenger traffic, MAHB had even drew up plans to accommodate the superjumbo Airbus 380 aircraft as well as premium lounges for enhanced passenger comfort.
Under its current construction plan, MAHB had also provided for the construction of four hotels and a public shopping mall next to the terminal.