Airport expansion plan to position state as Asian vacation capital

Yeoh: PIA should figure out how to make people feel better about being in the airport.

PENANG aims to develop better connectivity with major cities of the world by securing more direct flights to such destinations.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said with the increasing volume of travellers, more needs to be done to identify new flight routes.

“For the past few years, I have been engaging with various airlines to look for new flight routes in different regions of the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic did make it difficult but the Penang government remains optimistic that we can extend our air connectivity to major destinations.”

He said the expansion and upgrading project of the Penang International Airport (PIA) by the Federal Government would allow it to cater to more than 12 million passengers annually and accommodate increased traffic in the next few years.

“The expansion of PIA will give Penang a competitive position.

“Once the project is completed in four years’ time, the state government will be able to turn Penang into a better-connected aviation hub and ensure the northern parts of the country can access global markets,” he added.

To position Penang as among the vacation capitals of Asia, Yeoh intends to delve into customer experience at the airport.

“Post-pandemic tourism recovery is on the right track, as Chinese tourists are yearning to travel.

“We should improve our customer service and figure out how to make people feel better about being in the airport.

“I, as a passenger myself, value clean facilities wherever I travel,” he said.

Yeoh hopes Penang airport operators would keep abreast of the latest facilities and services provided at other international airports, to assure passengers that safety measures and hygiene are on par with world standards.

On Feb 24, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, when tabling the revised 2023 Budget in Parliament, announced that the PIA and Selangor’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang would be upgraded and expanded to attract more investors and tourists.

He had said the move would be far cheaper than building a new airport in Kulim, Kedah, at a cost of RM7bil.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the whole of PIA’s expansion cost would be borne by Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB).

He agreed that the expansion was urgently needed as the number of passengers had exceeded the airport’s capacity of 6.5 million passengers a year.

Loke said PIA recorded 8.33 million passengers in 2019.

Last year, it recorded 4.27 million passengers although the country’s borders had only reopened in April 2022.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Metro News

Expo to help B40 group, young locals own homes
Traditional games brighten festive celebration
Bypass now 33% completed
Churning out more factory tours
Enhanced water supply for Kuala Langat folk next year
Mosque in Kuala Lumpur lauded for fostering goodwill among all
‘Enforce time limit parking more strictly’
Dengue cases among migrant workers up 400% in Klang
School celebrates ethnic diversity
More grants given to help advance policies

Others Also Read