Transport Minister: Subang airport will not replace KLIA, meant to be premium city airport

THE government’s move to revamp Subang Airport as a premium city airport is not to have it replace Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), said Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

“There is ‘no way’ the airport, also called the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SAAS) could replace KLIA given their respective sizes and passenger capacities.

“(In) Subang Airport, our plan is to go up to eight million passengers per annum, but in KLIA, we’re talking about 50 million (passengers per annum) or more,” said Loke at the launch of the MYAirline student discount programme at KLIA Terminal 2.

According to Loke, Subang is meant to be a premium city airport. That is a market niche they are hoping to build. It’s more to attract business passengers and will include a hub for private jets.

As part of the new Subang Airport Rejuvenation Plan (SARP), Loke announced earlier in February plans to transform the airport into a premium city airport and aviation centre.

He was reported to have said that the SARP, proposed by Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) was presented to the Cabinet on Jan 31 prior to its approval.

“The plan would focus on business aviation, regional commercial flight operations, and other commercial flights. The government had several policy tools to help make SAAS a premium city airport,” added Loke.

He also pointed out that they would limit the types of aircraft. Then, they will limit the types of destinations, and finally, in terms of which particular airport and which slot to be given, all that is within the control of the government through airport authorities.

Moreover, Loke also noted that it’s not just about the airport. They also want to build a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) hub in Subang so the aviation industry (in Malaysia) can grow to not just be an operator but also a hub for maintenance and repairs.

“Making Subang an MRO hub would create many high-income job opportunities.”

Furthermore, Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) managing director Izham Ismail was reported last Monday to have said that improving SAAS would undoubtedly divert some aircraft away from KLIA.

He claimed that changes in flight traffic could weaken KLIA’s position as the country’s main airport hub and called for appropriate measures to manage that possibility. – June 30, 2023

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