Loke: Aerotrain issue a black mark on country

KUALA LUMPUR: The problem plaguing the aerotrains at KL International Airport (KLIA) has tarnished the nation’s image, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

“The issue over the aerotrains has tarnished the image and good name of KLIA and the nation.

“We will try our best to improve the service at KLIA,” he said in wrapping up the debate on Budget 2023 on his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat here yesterday.

He was responding to Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (PN-Tanah Merah) who wanted to know when the aerotrains would be repaired as their frequent breakdowns had affected tourism activities.

Loke said a decision was made to halt the aerotrain service at KLIA following its latest breakdown.

“Yes, it’s true that the aerotrains have been having problems for some time. This is because they are 25 years old and at their end of lifespan.

“They can be repaired as there are components and spare parts,” he said, adding that the service would be halted even if the aerotrains were repaired as the trains were unstable.

On Feb 27, an aerotrain stopped midway on the tracks from the KLIA main terminal building to the satellite building.

A second train was immediately deployed for stranded passengers, but it unfortunately experienced technical difficulties, resulting in passengers having to walk towards the satellite building.

On Wednesday, 114 passengers were left stranded by another aerotrain breakdown, resulting in them having to walk almost half a kilometre to the satellite building.

Ten passengers missed their flights because of the incident.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) later announced that all aerotrain operations at the KLIA Main Terminal was suspended until further notice.

Loke said shuttle bus services would be provided by MAHB for passengers at KLIA pending the replacement of the aerotrains.

On a separate matter, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Hasbi Habibollah said micromobility vehicles are being considered as a means to solve the first and last mile connectivity issue with the Klang Valley’s public rail system.

“The use of micromobility vehicles is a growing trend in cities and studies are being done in several countries over their use. We are also studying whether such vehicles can be used for the first and last mile connectivity where one can carry it onto the train to carry on the journey,” he told the House.

He said the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) is also drafting guidelines on the use of micromobility vehicles.

“The Shah Alam City Council has been selected as the location for the first sandbox project to test all the guidelines, and this will be launched on March 12,” he said.

The government banned the use of certain micromobility vehicles on the roads on April 26 last year.

The disabled are allowed to use micromobility vehicles when crossing roads.

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