Perak eyeing more regional flights into Sultan Azlan Shah Airport

BATU GAJAH: The Perak government hopes to transform the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport into a regional air travel hub, says a state executive councillor.

Tourism, industry, Investment and corridor development committee chairman Loh Sze Yee said the airport’s runway size qualified it to cater for regional flights.

“Before this, there were many opinions given about (the state's) airport status.

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“While we initially talked about a new airport, it will certainly take time to build.

"Therefore it makes sense to look at the current airport and focus on upgrading it,” he told reporters at the Silverlake Village Outlet here Wednesday (Nov 22).

“The runway is about 2km long. Due to its size, it can’t accommodate big planes like Boeing 777.

“But for smaller planes like the Airbus A320 with a three- to five-hour flight time, the airport can certainly cater to those.

ALSO READ: It's the airlines that decide on flights to and from Ipoh, says exco member

“That is why we want to suggest (making it) a regional airport to Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, focussing on... routes (within) the Asian region," he said, adding that final approval will have to come from Putrajaya.

“While we have discussed this with Thailand industry players, the Federal Government and Transport Ministry have the final say.

“We hope for a positive (response)," he added.

ALSO READ: Loke: I’ve urged Scoot to add more flights to Ipoh

On June 6, Loh said the state government planned to have more direct international flights to encourage foreign tourist arrivals in conjunction with Visit Perak Year 2024.

On Oct 29, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the state government had suggested a new airport in Seri Iskandar, but the construction process would be long and tedious.

Therefore, he said, the ministry was focussed on upgrading the current airport in Ipoh and had also requested Singapore’s low-cost airline Scoot to add more flights between the republic and Ipoh.

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