GEORGE TOWN, Nov 17 – The state government is proposing the construction of a new international airport to cater to the expected influx of passengers and increase in cargo after 2050.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (PH-Padang Kota) said the airport, to be named the Northern Corridor International Airport, would be located on reclaimed land in Batu Maung near Pulau Rimau.
He said this was because it was close to the Bayan Lepas and Batu Kawan Industrial Zones, and Penang International Airport (PIA).
He said existing infrastructure and networks could be integrated with the new airport.
“The PIA expansion may only cater for the passenger and cargo capacity for 20 to 30 years.
“Hence, for the needs beyond the year 2050, the Penang government is proposing for a new international airport.
“However, it is still at the planning stage and has to go through several processes, including feasibility studies, approval from the National Physical Planning Council to reclaim land on the sea, Environmental Impact Assessment approval and source of funding,” he said in his winding up speech for the 2019 Supply Bill on the last day of the state legislative assembly sitting Friday.
The present airport is designed to handle 6.5 million passengers a year, but, as of last year, the number of passengers at the airport had reached 7.2 million.
It was reported that Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) planned to increase the passenger handling capacity from 6.5 million passengers to 12 million passengers.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had said that the government was looking to build a Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) next to the PIA in one to two years’ time to cope with the increasing number of air passengers.
He said the government was in talks with AirAsia Group Bhd and MAHB on the proposed project.
He also said that the government was looking at the LCCT option as the proposed project would be fully funded by private companies, lessening the burden on the Federal Government. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd