9 July 2013
The delay on the completion of Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2), while expected, it has undoubtedly affected various parties in various means.
Nevertheless, efforts have been made by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and other relevant parties to speed up the construction progress of the airport to meet its current dateline on May 2, 2014.
For low cost carrier AirAsia Bhd (AirAsia), chief executive officer Aireen Omar expressed her disappointment as the delay would not only mean a disruption in the airline’s growth but it could also pose as a nuisance to its staffs and guests.
During a recent meet-and-greet media session here, Aireen highlighted that with the delay of klia2, the dependence on the current low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) at KLIA has caused it to be overcrowded.
Currently, Aireen noted that LCCT has a capacity of about 15 million passengers per annum.
However, she highlighted that the terminal is bursting at its seams as it is now supporting over 20 million passengers per annum.
“To date, we have 300 flights per day from LCCT, so it hasn’t been a very good environment to operate because it is quite congested and there is deteriorating working environment for the staffs,” she explained, adding that the congestion at LCCT will also create an unpleasant experience for its guest.
This unhealthy environment, she said, could also impact the time performance of AirAsia.
Additionally, in a press statement, Aireen noted, “As a party who will ultimately occupy and operate from klia2, we have consistently expressed concerns over delays attributable to the size of the project as well as cost overruns which we do not want to be passed on to airlines.”
Nevertheless, Aireen reiterated that although the airline is disappointed about the delay, the issue was already expected.
“We have made the necessary arrangements and plans to ensure that our operations will not be disrupted as much,” she assured.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted by a media as saying that a special committee, which will be headed by Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, has been put into place to keep close tabs on the development of klia2 to prevent any more delays.
He gave his assurance that the opening of the low-cost carrier airport, klia2, will not be postponed again and will start operation on May 2, 2014.
RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd (RHB Research) in a research note further said, “MAHB contractor for the airport’s main terminal, UEMC-Bina Puri JV (UBPJV), has given the commitment to complete klia2 by April 30, inclusive of the Operational Readiness & Airport Transfer (ORAT).
“With the main terminal currently 90 per cent complete, we reckon that trial operational runs could kick start sometime end-2013.”
To compensate MAHB for the delay, the research firm said that UBPJV will be imposed a Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LAD) amounting to RM199,450 per day.
It added, “Based on the timeline above, UBPJV could incur a total charge of RM63.4 million for the total delay of 318 days.”
On the other hand, the research arm of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd (MIDF Research) said in a separate research report, it has been reported that MAHB may receive Variation Order (VO) claims of as much as RM250 million from the contractors for changes to the work scope of klia2.
“The claimed changes are apparently the extension of Runway 3, raised earthwork and upgrades of public infrastructure. This is in addition to reports that UBPJV venture is seeking as much as RM300 million from MAHB for the expansion of the floor area at the airport’s main terminal and satellite buildings to cater to requirements from various government agencies as well as to cater for Malindo Air.
“An MAHB official, however, clarified that all the VOs have been accounted for and approved by MAHB. Thus the airport’s cost will remain at RM4 billion,” the research firm explained. Furthermore, it added, according to MAHB, the VOs were minor.
“The change requests included the addition of 45 more immigration counters, ticket booth and others. The contractors had been granted the appropriate extension of time (EOT) of two to four weeks to complete the VOs,” it added.
Nevertheless, sharing RHB Research’s positive sentiments on the current progress on klia2, MIDF Research said, “We believe the 10-month EOT should be enough for the contractors to complete the physical works, securing certificate of completion (CCC), ORAT for the opening of klia2 by May next year.”