Among the reforms outlined by Transport Minister Anthony Loke, during the Malaysia: A new Dawn conference yesterday, were plans to transfer the burden of infrastructure funding completely to the private sector.
Presently, based on the operating agreement signed between MAHB and the government in 2009, the government has the primary responsibility of forking out airport development capex, with the exception of KLIA2, which was funded entirely by MAHB.
Based on the minister’s briefing, MAHB will be required to source new private capital if it is unable to fund all the necessary capex from its own balance sheet.
The 38 airports, apart from KLIA and KLIA2, will also be separated into several clusters by geographical area, for which new operating agreements will be signed – allowing new equity partners to enter specific areas. The research house expects the move to be neutral for MAHB, despite the operator potentially having to break its monopoly on airports in the country.
“We believe that (the minister) envisions MAHB to remain in the driver’s seat of this process, and MAHB will have the power and discretion to decide who it will choose as its equity partners in the different airport clusters,” it said.