Last Monday, the Cabinet of Malaysia approved plans for the redevelopment of Subang Airport into a premium city airport and aviation center. Transport Minister Anthony Loke stated that the Subang Airport Regeneration Plan (SARP) will transform the airport into a “regional aviation center.”
Mr. Loke told local media that the airport, technically known as the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, will accommodate up to eight million people per year under the proposed expansion.
Mr. Loke was reported by the Malay Mail as stating, “I believe this is a game-changing development for Subang Airport.”
Mr. Loke informed local media that the rehabilitation plan will concentrate on seven regions. These include, among others, the advent of commercial jet passenger service for general aviation, business aviation, urban air mobility, and regional commercial aircraft operations.
“The ultimate objective is to transform Subang Airport into a regional aviation hub with an annual passenger capacity of eight million,” Mr. Loke was cited as saying by The Star. “This would create thousands of high-paying employment in Malaysia.”
The Star claimed that airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) was given two months to submit a viable business strategy for the rehabilitation of Subang Airport.
According to the Malay Mail, Mr. Loke announced on Monday that the reintroduction of scheduled commercial passenger flights and belly cargo flights using narrow body jets up to the size of A320/B737 or equivalent aircraft, which had been discontinued since 2002, is among the plans for Subang Airport.
When Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) commenced operations in 1998, (Subang Airport) progressively ceased operations and jet engines were prohibited from flying.
“One of the most significant policy changes is that the government is now permitting narrow-body aircraft to operate again in this airport, but in order for this to occur, the airport terminals must be redeveloped,” he was cited as saying by Malay Mail.
Mr. Loke emphasized that Subang Airport’s rehabilitation is not intended to replace KLIA in Sepang, but rather to make it into a city airport that complements the international airport, according to the web portal.
A month ago, local media claimed that Tourism Minister Tiong King Sing urged the Home Ministry to reduce wait times at KLIA for arriving passengers, citing two-hour queues at its immigration booths.
He was quoted as saying, “If Malaysia wants to attract tourists and become a competitive tourism destination, we must tackle this problem immediately to prevent tarnishing the image of the Immigration Department.”
He stated that the delays at the immigration counters expose the antiquated screening process at KLIA and proposed that the airport authorities employ bilingual personnel and expand the face recognition system to foreign travelers.
“The Immigration Department’s face recognition system should be extended to all overseas visitors, not only those with long-term visas, in order to streamline the approval process,” he was cited as saying by New Straits Times.