Disabled group insists on aerobridge at new KLIA2 terminal

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 21 Aug 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of disabled individuals disagree with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's (MAHB) decision not to install aerobridges at the new low-cost carrier terminal at KL International Airport or KLIA2.

In a gathering held at Bangsar LRT station, they insisted that aerobridges were essential for allowing safe boarding and disembarkation of passengers from all needs groups.

However, Petaling Jaya City Council OKU technical committee chairman Anthony Thanasayan disagreed with the gathering, calling the protest “premature”.

The protesting group's spokesman Christine Lee, who is wheelchair-bound, said aerobridges were important for disabled passengers, those with walking difficulties, senior citizens, children and pregnant women.

“MAHB must ensure these facilities are provided accordingly and should not compromise at any cost,” said Lee, president of the pro-tem non-governmental organisation Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport.

She said they had written a letter dated July 18 to seek an appointment with MAHB managing director Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad to discuss the issue.

“We sent the letter to the Transport and Women, Family and Community Development Ministries as well. So far, we have not received any response,” she said.

Separately, Anthony said MAHB had met with his committee and other disabled groups on Aug 15 to discuss the issue and promised to consider their views.

He said he personally did not think it necessary for the aerobridges to be installed as ambulifts could cater for the disabled.

“What's wrong with using ambulifts? Able-bodied passengers don't need the aerobridges,” he said, adding that he was more concerned with the toilet and ramp designs at the new low-cost carrier terminal.

Anthony, who also heads the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association, said the OKU technical committee would be involved in ensuring proper access for disabled passengers at the new terminal.

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