17 December 2013
DOUBTS have resurfaced over the opening of the RM4 billion Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2), which is scheduled for May 2 next year.
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is concerned that another delay may be imminent should the key contractors be unable to hand over the main terminal by end-January.
"The targeted launch of the airport, which is 95 per cent completed, is dependent on its contractors’ ability to meet the deadline in handing over the terminal with the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) by January 31," said MAHB senior general manager of construction, Mohd Zaifuddin Idris.
Only after that would MAHB be able to start airport operation rehearsal, or Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT).
MAHB plans to carry out ORAT over three months, Zaifuddin told Business Times on Friday. The ORAT is supposed to be completed by end-April.
"Our worry is that upon inspection by the Fire and Rescue Department, the contractors could not hand over the airport to us on time.
"If the handover is delayed, then there is a possibility that the opening of klia2 will be revised," Zaifuddin said.
Generally, ORAT is undertaken over one year but some airport operators do it in six months, depending on the size of the terminal. In klia2’s case, MAHB plans to complete the testing and commissioning in three months.
Equipment such as the baggage handling system, check-in system, signage and IT system as well as the lighting in the terminal will be tested.
The process involves stakeholders of the airport as well as members of the public.
Zaifuddin said the decision was made based on the stakeholders’ familiarity with the systems that are being used in KLIA.
"We are just extending the systems from KLIA to klia2. That is why we should be able to reduce the time for ORAT to just three months," he said.
The completion date of the airport has been revised at least three times.
The delay was caused by changes in the job scope that included an increase in the size of the terminal from 150,000 square metres to 257,000 sq m, installation of a fully-automated baggage handling system, construction of an additional 68 gates and 80 aerobridges, and increasing the height of the air traffic control tower from 77m to 134m.
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