Penang folk eagerly await opening of covered parking space

FREQUENT travellers in Penang seem to agree on one thing — the open-air carpark at the Penang International Airport (PIA) in Bayan Lepas is just not enough to cater to their needs.

Fortunately for many, a multistorey carpark is slated to open at the airport next year.

The new facility will be a covered parking space providing convenience for motorists.

Businessman James Chen, 62, is looking forward to being able to use the new carpark.

“I travel within Malaysia frequently and I usually leave my car overnight in the open-air parking space at the airport.

“My trips are usually short, just a day or two to Kuala Lumpur or Johor.

“It doesn’t make sense to get a taxi as it is cheaper to park at the airport.

“It is also comforting to know my car is nearby as soon as I get off the plane.

“The only problem I have experienced is our unpredictable weather, and I do not carry an umbrella. So whenever it rains, I have to wait it out in the airport or make a dash to my car,” he said.

He added that such worries would be a thing of the past with the covered carpark.

Chen is also glad that he does not have to leave his car out in the sun when going on trips.

Engineer Aiman Zulkifli, 34, who lives on the Penang mainland, said it was cheaper to drive to the airport and leave his car at the open-air carpark compared to taking a taxi or opting for ehailing service.

“If I calculate the cost of driving to the airport from the mainland, then it is better to drive.

“If I fly to Langkawi or Johor for work, I resort to parking my car at the outdoor carpark but I would prefer indoor parking as I do return late at night on some business trips and the open-air carpark is often empty and deserted.

“A multistorey carpark is safer for everyone,” he opined.

He hoped that the parking charges at the new facility would be reasonable or the same as the current outdoor parking.

Marketing executive Natasha Dass, 28, uses the outdoor carpark when sending or picking up family members from the airport.

“After sending family members off, I have to walk to the carpark alone and I do fear for my safety especially at night.

“I do wish I can park at the airport without worrying about my safety, especially since it is not too expensive.

“It is cheaper to drive to the airport if you consider paying for transport to and fro,” she noted.

Natasha said she was happy that a new multistorey carpark was being built.

“I am looking forward to being able to park there, especially since I plan to go on short solo trips.

“Earlier this year, I made a two-day trip to Langkawi and it would have been better for me to leave my car at the airport.

“Instead, I had to trouble a friend to pick me up as I was afraid to leave my car at the open-air carpark,” she said. — By N. TRISHA

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