THE Penang International Airport (PIA) has the capacity to take in 25 million passengers a year in 30 years’ time, according to the PEN Airport Masterplan by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).
MAHB chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said the capacity would be analysed when the masterplan is completed next year.
“It is bigger than the earlier plan (12 million capacity) as according to a survey, we will reach this level by the year 2028 and will receive 16 million passengers in 2033.
“The expansion includes four phases and is expected to be completed in about 48 to 60 months, ” said Mohd Shukrie during a recent briefing for the Penang government at Komtar.
Earlier, Mohd Shukrie called on Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow who said the state was willing to work together with agencies to accelerate the PIA expansion project.
“The state government gives its full commitment to ensure the airport expansion will become a reality, ” added Chow.
PIA infrastructure expansion began in 1977 and the airport was fully operational in 1979 with the capacity to accommodate 1.5 million passengers.
The airport was later expanded and upgraded in 1998 to a 3.5 million passenger capacity and 6.5 million in 2013.
At present, the PIA expansion project is on hold, pending the finalisation of the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP).
The NASP study on airport development is expected to be completed in 2023 in line with the National Transport Policy.
Also present at the meeting were state infrastructure and transportation committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari, state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, Chief Minister’s political secretary Teh Lai Heng and Penang Development Corporation chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Bazid Abd Kahar.
Mohd Shukrie was accompanied by MAHB regulatory affairs general manager Datuk Abdullah Kadir Bacha, Malaysian Airports Sdn Bhd general manager Kamaruzzaman Razali, MAHB acting general manager of planning and development
Mohd Zubir Mohd Meerah and PIA senior manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim.