IPOH: Perak is planning to introduce direct flights to international destinations from here to keep its airport alive.
State Infrastructure and Public Utilities Committee chairman Datuk Ong Ka Chuan (BN - Chenderiang) said the state had discussed the matter with the Transport Ministry and one of the international routes under consideration was Bangkok.
He added that the state would look for flight operators during the Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) forum.
Following the opening of the North-South Expressway, fewer people were flying to Kuala Lumpur, he said, adding that it was one of the reasons for the cutting down of flights as it was not lucrative for Malaysia Airlines (MAS).
Apart from encouraging AirAsia to start flying to Ipoh, Ong said the state government had also approached the private sector to start charter flights to local destinations.
The Pangkor Island airport will also be upgraded to allow bigger planes to land such as Dash 7 and the 42-seater Fokker, he said when replying to Nga Kor Ming (DAP - Pantai Remis) at the state assembly yesterday.
Ong said the state hoped to look for another suitable site to relocate the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport.
State Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman Datuk Ramly Zahari said total foreign and local investments received until August amounted to RM898.063mil.