21 December, 2008
By MARTIN CARVALHO
There is a need to expand the current low-cost carrier terminals (LCCTs) or set up new ones in the country to cater to the anticipated rise in the number of passengers flying budget airlines.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said this was because the current facility in Sepang would not be able to handle the sharp rise in the number of passengers that is expected to hit almost 30 million by 2014.
Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAHB) had its own plans to extend its existing low-cost carrier terminal, with the possibility of building another one, he said.
"Even so, it would only be able to cater to some 15 million passengers by 2014," he told reporters here after attending a closed-door dialogue session with state MCA leaders yesterday.
Ong was asked whether the proposed RM1.6bil joint venture between Sime Darby and AirAsia, to develop the KLIA East @ Labu new low-cost carrier terminal in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, would be redundant.
The new airport is to be built on a 2,800ha area located between Nilai and Bandar Enstek and will be larger than the current LCCT in Sepang.
"The question of redundancy does not arise with regard to the need for such facilities as the homegrown LCC such as AirAsia and AirAsia X have breached their 10 million-passenger mark," he said.
Based on statistics, it is anticipated that by 2014 there would be some 27 million budget travellers per annum.
Meanwhile, Ong said he would be revealing the chronology of events on the Port Klang Free Zone issue today.
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.