28 August 2021
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is allocating between RM600 million and RM700 million in capital expenditure (capex) for its Airports 4.0 digital initiative for the next five years.
Group chief executive officer Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the big chunk of the allocation would be spent on the first two to three years of the plan as it involved major facility upgrades focusing on safety and security, passenger experience, airport operations and workforce innovation.
He said the airport operator has so far completed its network migration to a new core network architecture at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), costing almost RM50 million to leverage on the latest cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, WiFi6 and the Internet of Things.
MAHB would also implement the biometric facial recognition technology that provides up to six times efficiency during check-in boarding, self-service bag drops as well as the enhanced MYAirports mobile app by the end of the year.
“We want to have a fully integrated digital ecosystem that will enable our real-time information collaboration and connectivity at all of our airports.
“We strive for a safe and world-class passenger experience at our airports and to ensure the assets that we have will be run efficiently and optimise the processes that we currently have,” he told reporters during an “In Conversation with Malaysia Airports” session held virtually today.
Commenting on the recovery of the local aviation industry, Shukrie said the industry could achieve its pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2024 or the earliest by end-2023.
“I’m pretty sure it would not be back at its pre-pandemic level next year,” he said, projecting Turkey would achieve the pre-pandemic level faster than Malaysia given its higher passenger traffic.
As for border reopening, he said MAHB is well prepared and always ready to instil passengers’ confidence to enjoy a safe and contactless engagement experience.
MAHB has received the global Airport Health Accreditation by the Airports Council International (ACI) for several of its airports, namely KLIA, Penang International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kuching International Airport, Langkawi International Airport and the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Turkey.
The safety measures at these airports are benchmarked against global standards including the Airports Council International (ACI) Aviation Business Restart and Recovery guidelines, and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force recommendations along with industry best practices.
On other developments, Shukrie said MAHB has finalised its proposal for KLIA’s new land lease agreement that is more attractive and adequately addresses the issue of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) as well as development rights.
The company would also present the proposal on its Subang Airport Regeneration plan which has been submitted to the transport ministry, he said.
Both proposals would be tabled to the Cabinet soon, he said.
“Once approved, we should be in a better position to develop the land surrounding KLIA.
“Under the current operating agreement and land lease agreement that we have, it is not that conducive in terms of attracting investors.
“It is going to be for a longer tenure rather than now, which is pretty short, and on top of that the terms will be a lot friendlier to attract FDI and for us as well,” he added.