11 July 2013
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said AirAsia as the biggest operator at klia2, among others asked for more floor space and infrastructure including extending and expanding the runway, increase arrival and departure gates, automatic baggage handling system besides having a premium airport lounge.
The airline also wanted its Tune Hotel and headquarters sited at the facility, he said.
"We entertained many requests by AirAsia which I see as a golden child to raise the specifications (at klia2) and this contributed to the higher cost.
"The requests by AirAsia had to be considered in view of new developments apart from the rapid expansion of the national airline industry," he said when winding up debate on the Royal address.
Abdul Aziz said the runway extension involved lengthening the runway from 2.5km to 4.4km and widening it to 2.2km to cater to bigger jets like the Airbus A380.
Floor space expansion was from 150,000 square metres to 250,000 square metres and the number of gates was increased from 55 to 68, he said, adding that the upgrading was to be able to cater to an increased capacity of 45 million passengers annually.
This got Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) riled up and demanded to know what was so special about AirAsia that its requests needed to be entertained.
Abdul Aziz replied that the requests were met based on commercial logic, as being the biggest tenant, the airline’s views had to be given due consideration.
He also said the cost was still considered low compared to other countries as it cost only RM89 per passenger whereas in Germany it was RM478 per passenger for the same capacity.
"The Hong Kong International Airport costs RM2,143 (per passenger) and Singapore’s Changi Airport RM2,906 (per passenger). So in many ways, the klia2 is among the cheapest and fastest to be constructed," he said.