3 November 2015
Less than 20 years since the Kuala Lumpur International Airport began operating on July 1, 1997, passenger traffic has grown steadily and nearly reached its target of 25 million per annum this year.
Although the 100 sq km airport can handle up to 35 million passenger per annum, discussions have already begun on its expansion plans – which industry sources say have to be completed by 2020.
The Rakyat Post understands that one of the two contact piers will be expanded first to cater up to 15 million passengers per year from the current five million.
Industry observers said a study is now being made by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and construction for the airport expansion would likely start in 2018 and be completed in two years.
The initial cost for the expansion of the two contact piers would be around RM2.5 billion, said a source.
“MAHB would possibly wait until the passenger traffic reaches 30-35 million before expanding the contact piers.
“But that also depends if some airlines would want to use the remote stands, apart from contact stands.”
Remote stands are aircraft parking bays that are not connected to the aerobridge and require a bus to ferry passengers from the terminal to the aircraft and vice versa. Contact stands are parking bays that are linked via aerobridges.
KLIA has a total of 46 contact stands and about 60 remote stands. The contact pier is connected to the KLIA main terminal building and is used to handle domestic flights.
Speaking on the future funding of the project, the sources said “airport development costs are usually funded by the government. But MAHB has strong financial position and its current gearing level is low.”
The next expansion plan post-2020 would be the construction of a new satellite terminal at KLIA that could handle 20 million passengers per annum. The current satellite terminal handles all international flights.
Sources said details of the plan is still being discussed though the estimated cost for the project could double the RM4 billion klia2 cost.
The second terminal – built to house low-cost carriers – was fully operational on May 2 last year, after a series of delays since 2011.
The delay was caused by changed in the jobscope that included an increase in the size of the terminal from 150,000 sqm to 275,000 sqm.
Further, there were the installation of a fully automated baggage handling system, construction of additional 68 gates and 80 aerobridges, and increasing the height of air traffic control tower from 77m to 134m.
Original Source: therakyatpost.com
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