MAHB says KLIA2 works did not affect flight operations

  • Business
  • Friday, 14 Aug 2015

PETALING JAYA: Airport operator MALAYSIA AIRPORTS HOLDINGS BHD (MAHB) has come out to say that there were no occasions in which flight operations had been disrupted due to rectification works at KLIA2 since the airport opened in May last year.

The company is responding to claims made by budget carrier AIRASIA BHD, the main airline using KLIA2, that frequent bay changes had affected flight operations.

“Recorded data from the flight operations centre over the last few months shows that 85% of bay changes is the result of requests made by airlines for a number of reasons, such as late arrivals and departures, aircraft swapping and the airline’s ground handlers towing the airplane to the wrong bay,” it said in a statement.

AirAsia is pursuing a suit against MAHB for claims on losses amounting to RM409.44mil, arguing that MAHB’s inefficiency has caused the airline continuous problems.

The RM4bil KLIA2, dedicated to the use of budget carriers, finally opened its doors last year after several delays.

Meanwhile, MAHB explained that being a terminal built for 45 million passengers per annum (mppa), KLIA2 has a total of 68 aircraft parking bays, with eight more remote bays, bringing the total to 76 bays.

The terminal currently handles 25 million passengers and on a daily average, total airline requirements for bay utilisation during the day are between 30 and 35 bays.

During the night, the numbers increase to between 55 and 60 bays for night-stop parking.

“Despite the closure of some bays for scheduled rectification works, there are always at least 60 bays available during the day and 66 bays available during the night. Hence there has been no situation where airline operations were disrupted by bay closures,” it said.

On top of that, MAHB said the joint-inspection committee, formed last December, has discussed and agreed on the rectification schedule and subsequently inspected the completed works to ensure compliance with the standards set by the authority.

“In other words, all airlines have advance notice on which bays will be closed,” said MAHB.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which includes KLIA2, is the only airport in South-East Asia that operates a three-independent runway system with two air traffic control towers.

MAHB said one great advantage of this was that the runways can serve as a backup to each other in the event that a runway is closed for scheduled maintenance.

“It’s the norm at large airports, runways are closed periodically during off peak hours for scheduled inspection and maintenance work. At KLIA and KLIA2, this is done from midnight to 6 am on a weekly basis.

“On average, runway 1 and 2 are closed for scheduled maintenance for one night per week whereas runway 3 is closed for two nights per week. The frequency is increased for runway 3 for additional precautionary inspection,” it said.

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