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Thursday August 30, 2007

Malacca CM in bid to save airport tower

MALACCA: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam will step in and try to save the historical air control tower at the Batu Berendam airport. 

The airport, built in 1952, is undergoing a RM131mil expansion to accommodate Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A320 aircraft and the tower is slated for demolition. 

The tower stands in the way of the runway extension project.  

The runway is to be extended from 1,880m to 2,200m. 

It was from this tower that air traffic control guided the plane carrying Tunku Abdul Rahman from London on Feb 20, 1956. The Tunku was returning with good news that Malaya would be granted independence. 

“I will try to get an allocation from the Federal Government to move the tower,” said Mohd Ali yesterday. 

“If that is not possible, I may meet the contractors or the Transport Ministry to discuss the possibility of changing the plans to accommodate the tower,” the CM said after chairing the state executive council meeting. 

Mohd Ali said he was quite keen to have the old air traffic control tower placed beside the new airport terminal.  

The airport project will be completed by April 2009.