THE Penang government is unperturbed by the latest announcement from the Federal Government to only consider the expansion and upgrading of the Penang International Airport (PIA) after the National Airports Strategic Plan (NASP) study has been finalised.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the Penang government was still interested in the airport upgrading project. However, the state was not in a hurry to push for it due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If we look at the data, PIA currently records a low number of passengers with fewer than 1,000 passengers per day.
“So, the state thinks that the current airport capacity is more than enough to cater to this amount of traffic volume for now.
“There is no hurry unless the Covid-19 pandemic is over and that the international border is re-open.
“We understand that the plan might have been put on hold due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, the Penang government is still interested in the expansion project.
“Since the PIA expansion project is under the Federal Government, we will leave it to the Transport Ministry to decide the suitable time to start the project,” Chow told reporters after officiating the National Day month-long celebrations and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign 2020 at the second Penang bridge toll plaza in Batu Kawan today.
The PIA expansion project under Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is estimated to cost between RM800 million and RM900 million and was scheduled to start in June this year but has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Law Suun Ting