Penang International Airport (PIA) to be relocated to a man-made island? This will happen if Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang suggestion is taken seriously. According to REHDA Penang’s chairman, Datuk Jerry Chan, this is very important because current PIA is too close to the Penang Free Industrial Zone (FIZ). There are risks to flying over the FIZ. Also, within the next 15 – 20 years, once no further expansion can be done, PIA will be stagnant and future flights has to be diverted to other airports nearby. Both the state and the federal governments must ensure PIA continues to grow and can accommodate ever larger aircrafts. As for where the man-made island should be, further studies has to be conducted.
Remember I wrote about this some time back? Full capacity in 2017. Based on just the terminal capacity alone, it does seem that Penang airport would reach its intended capacity by 2017. That’s not too far ahead in the future. I think the terminal has to at least undergo another expansion very soon. Always remember that irregardless of what the state has planned, airport is a very important supporting infrastructure. Whether it is for tourism or medical tourism or even property investment, no one would be buying if he / she can only reach the property they are buying after many hours of non-stop driving. If I am looking to come for medical tourism, I am not going to fly to a city nearest to Penang and then take the coach to Penang. It’s not a joke to travel when you are not feeling well.
Many years ago, when KLIA was suggested, there were strong objections from many parties. Then when KLIA2 was started, there were also lots of objections from various parties. Now that KLIA2 is completed, many people asked if KLIA2 is an airport or is it a mall. Everyone seemed to have forgotten that KLIA got lots of complaints for lack of shops for shopping. I think this man-made island, once the area has been identified would also receive lots of complaints. I am more supportive to have the airport in mainland and linked by the second Penang bridge or perhaps LRT instead. My reasons are, it’s much cheaper as the land most probably would be state land anyway. For those who wants to say that mainland is SO FAR away, I seriously urge you to travel more often to other countries, then you tell me where the airports are situated and if any of the airports are built just a few km away from the city centre.
Oh yeah, if decision is made to have it on a man-made island instead, count me in as a supporter too. Most important is a plan for a BIGGER PIA. The location to me, is secondary.
written on 25th Sept 2014
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