SENAI: Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB) chairman Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh is optimistic about the aviation growth prospects in Johor, backed by increasing infrastructure link between Johor and Singapore and investments.
The company’s targets to handle some seven million air passengers yearly by 2030, Che Khalib said, and this could be achieved by positioning Johor as the Southern Gateway.
“We should be able to get some air travellers from Singapore to fly to Sabah and Sarawak as we have better connectivity to the two states from our airport,’’ he said.
Che Khalib said when the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit Link System or RTS Link is up and running in 2026, it would improve connectivity between the two countries and attract Singaporeans to use Senai Airport.
He said the Special Financial Zone and the Special Economic Zone in Johor would also attract more investors into the state, especially to Iskandar Malaysia.
Earlier in his speech, Che Khalib said RM12mil was spent for the expansion project of the airport covering 1,690 sq m, bringing the total floor area of the departure hall to 9,086 sq m.
The facilities include new departure gates, additional seats, shop lots, flight information display system, covered passenger walkway, WiFi system and closed-circuit camera system.
“The project started in March 2020 during the first movement control order due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was completed in August this year,’’ he said.
Che Khalib, who is also MMC Corp Bhd group managing director, said since taking over the operations of Senai airport, SATSSB has invested over RM620mil to upgrade and enhance the facilities and infrastructure for the airport and land operations.
“We have seen a significant growth from 800,000 passengers yearly in 2003, to 4.27 million passengers per year in 2019,” he said after the launch of Senai International Airport expansion project by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi recently.
Also present at the event were state Works, Transport and Infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh, state Investment, Trade and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Lee Ting Han and Kulai District Officer Zainor Adani.
“I’ve proposed to the Mentri Besar to look at having a marathon in Johor like the recently concluded Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon,’’ said Che Khalib.
He said the marathon could start from Iskandar Puteri to Tanjung Piai covering a distance of 48km and participants would pass through the 7.5-km Sungai Pulai bridge.