Stakeholders give the thumbs-up for new terminal plan

GEORGE TOWN: The plan to build a low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) in Penang has been positively received by stakeholders in the tourism industry as it not only offers a solution to the increased air travel demand but will also boost comfort and convenience for passengers.

Those interviewed not only believe that an LCCT will be an additional option for those taking flights, but they also see it easing up congestion at the Penang Interna­tional Airport, which has reached its capacity of 6.5 million passengers per year.

For the first quarter of this year, statistics from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd have shown an almost 7% growth in passenger traffic, rising from 1.73 million in the same period last year to 1.85 million.

Penang Tourist Guides Associa­tion president Chin Poh Chin said the association welcomes as many flights as possible, especially direct flights from foreign destinations.

“Penang has a very low number of direct flights compared to other major airports and with the current congestion, there is not much space to grow anymore.

“Among the main problems faced by passengers is the lack of counters open during peak hours, and any sudden surge of passenger groups will lead to long queues and waiting times to check in and out.

“If there is an additional terminal, passengers will be dispersed faster and enjoy added comfort. The quality of our tourism services will be better rated too,” she said yesterday.

Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm chief executive officer Joseph Goh said an LCCT would definitely be a big boost to Penang’s tourism industry.

“The additional channel of air traffic will serve the state well and best of all, extra low-cost flights to Penang will ensure tourists have more money to enjoy themselves on the island, which will rake in higher tourism revenue for us,” he said.

Foreign workers’ agent Ridzuan Akhbar Ali, 40, said he receives workers from countries such as Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar on a regular basis.

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