In use: The international airport in Bayan Lepas. - filepic
PLANS to have a Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at the northern part of Perak did not materialise because the Penang state government took it as a threat since the state already had an international airport.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said several discussions were held a few years ago, and he had personally presented a paper on the matter to the Economic Planning Unit.
“When the presentation took place, Penang felt it was not rational to built the LCCT because there was already an existing international airport in Bayan Lepas over at the island.
“The reason given during the discussions was that this would jeopardise the position of Penang as an international airport,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Perak state assembly on Friday.
Dr Zambry said the state government also had discussions with Sime Darby to ensure their land could be developed together if the LCCT project took off.
He said these were the long- term plans to develop areas right from the north to south of the state.
“However, I hope all the obstacles can be overcome, and both the Federal Government and Penang state government can reconsider the idea mooted by Perak.
“We are finding the best possible ways to develop the northern part of Perak,” he added.
Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (Setiawan-DAP) said the Penang government had announced before that the airport in Penang had reached its maximum capacity of five million passengers.
“The state government had requested that a new airport be constructed or the current one expanded, so this is a good time to lobby for the LCCT in Perak.
“Anyway, Alor Pongsu in Perak, which is the proposed location to built the LCCT, and Penang is only about 15 minutes away,” he added.
In response, Dr Zambry said: You have to convince your DAP chief minister’.
On a question by Wong Kah Woh (Canning-DAP) on why the new airline Flying Fox was permitted to fly from the Sultan Azlan Shah airport to Medan in Indonesia when the sinkholes were already discovered during upgrading works, Dr Zambry said he was also disappointed over this.
He said a report was presented to the state government after the re-opening ceremony.
“We made efforts to bring the new airline to fly from here.
“However, the good news is that Malindo Air is also looking at flying to a few Asean destinations from Ipoh,” he added.