Penang eyes to build a second international airport to support the increase of passengers at the current Bayan Lepas airport.
In fact, the state is in the process of identifying strategic locations for the airport, including one of the three islands that were proposed to be reclaimed in Batu Maung, reported The Star.
“The Penang International Airport (PIA) will only be able to accommodate up to 20 million passengers per year, even after expansion,” said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
“The latest terminal expansion for PIA will last us another 10 to 20 years, but what do we do beyond that, when air traffic increases and the runway is not enough? We need a new airport,” he said.
“We will study if Penang needs a new airport beyond 30 years from now, and if there is a need, where exactly should it be located.”
Although Chow acknowledged plans to raise the current capacity of PIA to 16 million passengers per year from 6.5 million, he noted that the airport would need more space for the runway.
The space constraints around the airport and its runway make it impossible for expansion without acquiring the entire Free Industrial Zone.
Meanwhile, the three reclaimed islands form part of the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan that is yet to be approved.
On Kedah’s proposal to build an international airport in Kulim, Chow revealed that the National Transport Council heard that it would be used exclusively for cargo.
However, a feasibility study from Kedah last year indicated that it would also be a passenger airport, he said.
Chow explained that the Penang government does not object to the construction of the airport as long as Kedah complies with the conditions set by federal regulators.