SEPANG: With millions of tourists expected to arrive this year, hiccups at the country’s main entry points would be the last thing travellers should experience.
To address various issues at Malaysia’s airports, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said that crowd management and ensuring flawless mobility of passengers are the government’s priority.
He said that Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) will do more to ensure travellers have a good experience upon arrival.
“The airport management is prepared to help control and manage the crowd. However, immigration counters are beyond the jurisdiction of the Transport Ministry and MAHB.
“But I believe that the Home Ministry is taking a lot of efforts to improve the services at the counters,” he told reporters yesterday.
On the suspension of aerotrains that connect KLIA’s satellite building with the main building, Loke said MAHB will ensure seamless transition of all passengers.
“We will increase the number of buses to make sure it (passengers’ mobility) is seamless and better services will also be provided.
“Various other options are being discussed (between the ministry and MAHB), but for the time being our main priority will be increasing the number of shuttle buses,” he added.
On March 3, MAHB said that it would suspend its aerotrain operations at KLIA until further notice.
Its managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said this was because the existing trains were constantly breaking down as they are 25 years old.
The decision was made following a train that had halted mid-way on the tracks from KLIA’s main terminal building to the satellite building on March 1.
The incident had forced all affected passengers to walk on the rail tracks to the satellite building.
Loke also said that his ministry, together with MAHB, has been continuously looking into issues and complaints made by airport users to find solutions.
On issues at Penang airport, the minister said that the management has taken the necessary actions.
“It (Penang airport) has much improved. I just visited Penang airport last week. We’ve continuously looked into it (maintenance issues and complaints),” he said.
Ahmad, 40, who had arrived from Doha, Qatar said the disembarkation process from the satellite terminal in KLIA was smooth despite the aerotrain situation.
“At first, I was worried that I would face similar problems as the passengers last week who had to walk on the tracks, or I had to wait for a long time for the shuttle bus.
“However, it actually went smoothly. It only took me a few minutes to ride the bus. The shuttle buses were already waiting to fetch the passengers arriving at the satellite building,” he added.
Another passenger who preferred to remain anonymous said that the crowd at the immigration counters seemed manageable.