IT will be a new-look Penang International Airport (PIA) when upgrading works, including increasing its capacity nearly 100% from its current annual passenger capacity of 6.5 million passengers to 12 million passengers, are completed.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in a press statement on Nov 30, revealed that he had received a written reply from Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in Parliament that the federal government in its presentation of Budget 2018 which took place on Oct 27 had agreed to upgrade and expand the PIA.
“Right now, we’re having discussions with Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad (MAHB) on the implementation of the PIA upgrading project and the costing which has yet to be determined,” said Lim, who’s also Bagan MP.
Earlier on, Lim had directed the question to Liow in Parliament on the approval status by the Federal Government to upgrade and expand the PIA.
The total number of passengers handled by the PIA in 2016 had exceeded its capacity of 6.5 million while for this year, the total passenger capacity is projected to exceed 7.1 million passengers.
Official records show that by October this year, the number of passengers handled by the PIA had increased by 449,580 passengers which amounted to 5,922,259 passengers compared with the corresponding period in 2016 which recorded 5,472,679 passengers.
Other major airports in the country also recorded a growth of between 8.5% to 13.5% and the PIA itself achieved a growth of 8.2%.
The chief minister had on previous occasions highlighted the issue of the PIA in dire need of expansion and upgrade due to exceeded maximum passenger capacity and he once likened the environment inside the PIA to a night market.