SEPANG: The new Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Complex (KL ATCC) will be an all-important milestone in the restructuring of KL's airspace, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the country's ever-expanding aviation industry has brought about the need to improve and upgrade the civil aviation infrastructure including the air traffic control system and facilities.
"Upon completion, the KL ATCC will be a vital starting point for the restructuring of the KL airspace, which is better known as the Kuala Lumpur Flight Information Region (KL FIR).
"The restructuring of the KL FIR airspace will enable KLIA to operate at its maximum ability. KLIA is currently the only airport in the region that operates three runways.
"This simultaneous operation will be able to increase KLIA's runway capacity from 78 to 108 aircraft movements an hour, which is among the highest in the world.
"With this increase, Malaysia will be able to enjoy a lucrative return through the continuous expansion of the country's aviation industry.
"If the increase of Malaysian air traffic is able to maintain at a rate of 4.5% a year in a stable economic environment, then the new airspace structure should be able to sustain for the next 20 years," said Najib, at the ground breaking ceremony of KL ATCC here on Tuesday.
The KL ATCC is scheduled to be completed and operational in 2019.
Also present at the ceremony was Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
At a press conference later, Liow said with the increase in KLIA's runway capacity, more airlines would be able to fly in and out of the airport during "premium slots".