KULIM: The first phase of the proposed international airport in Kulim will start by providing cargo services, says Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
He said on Tuesday this would enable the RM1.6bil airport to pick up the slack from the declining cargo volume at the Penang International Airport, which is focusing on serving passengers.
The plan for the proposed airport is now being studied by the Economic Planning Unit.
“If we plan the first phase as a cargo airport, we can pick up the slack and meet an immediate demand,” said Mukhriz, pointing out cargo traffic in and out of Penang has been declining at 10.5% annually.
“This way we also don’t disturb the Penang International Airport, which is focused on serving passengers," he added.
Mukhriz said the plan to focus on cargo was based on the feedback from investors and multinational corporations in the Kulim Hi-Tech Park and Penang who had been sending their cargo by road to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
He was speaking at a press conference jointly held with International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed at Kulim Hi-Tech Park.
Mukhriz said the decline in cargo traffic at the Penang Airport was because there was only one runway which was for passenger aircraft.
Mustafa said the federal government would support projects that would boost the infrastructure and economy of the country.