Monday September 12, 2011
I REFER to Why not aerobridges? (The Star, Sept 10). I could not agree more with the article. KLIA2 should be built with aerobridges installed as passenger safety and convenience should be top priority.
Airlines that are going to operate at KLIA2 should also be concerned with this issue as international civil aviation regulations prohibit passengers from walking to and from the aircraft across the tarmac.
At airports where aerobridges are not used, departing and arriving passengers are supposed to be transported to and from the aircraft by coach or bus irrespective of where the aircraft is parked. But at the existing Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) this is not implemented by the airlines operating here.
The elderly, pregnant women, mothers with children and infants are inconvenienced due to the distance they have to walk. The disabled are charged a fee for the use of a wheelchair.
Everyone is further inconvenienced when it rains. In a thunderstorm walking across the tarmac is a threat to one’s safety even when one uses an umbrella.
It must be remembered that Malaysia has one of the highest number of lightning strikes of any country. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Then there are moving ground support vehicles which are a threat to passengers?safety at pedestrian crossings as passengers walking to and from the aircraft do not have the right of the way.
I am not a regular user of LCCT but from the few times that I had travelled from LCCT, I had observed that ground staff see it as a rule to stop passengers at pedestrian crossings to make way for these vehicles when it should be the other way round.
Due to the mammoth size of KLIA2, passengers can be expected to walk even further to and from the aircraft, depending on where the aircraft is parked.
Passengers would not grudge paying a few ringgit more to use aerobridges for safety and convenience at KLIA2. The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, the Philippines, is an example of a low cost facility that seriously views passenger safety and convenience, and it has invested significantly to expand the passenger terminal and install aerobridges.
The MAHB has done a lot to develop KLIA into a state-of-the-art facility. Being constructed at a cost of RM2.8bil with a third runway, KLIA2 will be the first in Asia to have a 300m long skybridge linking the terminal to the satellite and with a shopping space of 70,000 sq metres. For KLIA to be called an aviation hub, aerobridges must be installed at KLIA2.
KLIA’s image will be enhanced with aerobridges in KLIA2. It will be the pride of all Malaysians as not many airports in Asia operate with three runways and which can boast of passenger handling capacity of 55 million.
KLIA2 will have a passenger handling capacity of 30 million, five million more than the main terminal. It would be ideal for the facility to have aerobridges for jet aircraft to park.
In the interest of safety and convenience aerobridges should be installed at KLIA2.
This article is a verbatim copy of the original article from The Star.