21 December, 2008
By SARBAN SINGH
The construction of a bigger low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) near Labu will augur well for the development of the eastern part of the state and be a catalyst for progress in the country's central corridor, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said.
The Mentri Besar, in thanking the Cabinet for approving the construction of the RM1.6bil airport, said the state government would immediately form a high-powered committee to assist developers of the project to ensure no hitches in its construction.
"We are looking forward to the project. We will do everything within our means to ensure it gets off the ground and is built in the given time," he said.
Mohamad said AirAsia had to move because it desperately needed a bigger terminal, more state-of-the-art facilities and aero-bridges which the present LCCT was not equipped with.
"The present LCCT was a cargo complex. We need a proper terminal to ensure passenger comfort and a new terminal is the only answer," he said.
With Negri Sembilan set to have its own airport, the only other state without an airport now is Perlis.
On Friday, the Cabinet gave the go-ahead to a proposal by conglomerate Sime Darby and budget carrier AirAsia to build the new LCCT.
Mohamad said the state government would also ensure there was enough residential space in the area as more people, particularly airport employees, would move in.
"We are expecting an increase in demand for houses. We will also look into this and see how the state government can do its bit," he said.
State Real Estate and Housing Developers Association deputy chairman S. Sivanyanam said several new housing projects are slated for the area in the coming months.
In GEORGE TOWN, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng questioned the need for the new terminal near Nilai when the KLIA and Malacca airports were 150km away, CHRISTINA CHIN reports.
"Penang is the second most profitable airport in the country and we are desperately in need of expansion and upgrading, yet nothing is done. When will it be our turn?" he asked.
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.