Flying high for Malaysia

  • Nation
  • Friday, 05 Mar 2021

A GLOBAL survey carried out in the first half of 2020 ranked KL International Airport as one of the top 10 airports in the world.

It was done by Airport Service Quality (ASQ) which benchmarks the world’s best airports. (ASQ is carried out by the Airports Council International that sets the standards and guidelines for airports throughout the world.)

"Despite challenging times, we have risen to the ninth ranking for 1H 2020, up from 17th in 2019 among airports of similar capacity. The airport achieved an improved overall score of 4.94 out of 5.00 from 4.69 previously," said a statement from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.

Indeed, KLIA has come a long way. It took four years to construct before its eventual opening on June 27,1998.

The grand opening featured much splendour as it represented a new milestone in Malaysian history.

It marked the end of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SAAS), or Subang Airport, as Malaysia’s international gateway after 33 years. KLIA has six to seven times the capacity of SAAS, now known as Subang SkyPark.

The new airport can serve about 25 million passengers a year. Having one of the world’s tallest control towers also means that Malaysia is firmly on the world map.

The Star reported on July 6,1998 that KLIA features two runways, 106 aircraft stands, 216 international and domestic check-in counters, 13,020 covered and uncovered parking lots and 479,404 sq m of floor area, among others.

Since then, KLIA has been a magnet towards the overall development of Klang Valley South, with a burgeoning of new townships that developed around KLIA, Putrajaya and Cyberjaya. KLIA also propelled airport and airline staff into buying or renting properties in Seremban Two, Rasah Kemayan, Bandar Baru Nilai, Puchong and Subang, all of which are either near or have easy access to KLIA/Putrajaya.

Curious to see more features like this? Visit Starchive on our anniversary website to discover more stories through the decades.

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