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PIA’s 16 million passengers goal at over RM1.2 billion (government has no funds…)

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I get excited when Penang gets ever more connected to the world. I stayed and worked there for over 15 years before moving to KL. Truth is, growth of this little state (plus mainland) depends on connectivity and with the Penang International Airport (PIA) having reached its maximum capacity, it’s about time for the next expansion. Earlier article here: New PIA please Let’s understand that if Penang International Airport gets too busy, there’s no need to keep pushing for higher visitor numbers, they could not come. Even medical tourism which Penang is dominant could not grow ever higher if the patients have to fly to some other cities and then only take a coach to Penang?

Article in nst.com.my here. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that PIA will undeego an expansion so that it can accommodate 16 million passengers per year. Last year PIA handled 7.8 million passengers when its current capacity is just 6.5 million. This will attract more international airlines to fly into Penang. However he shared that the federal government is short of funds and thus this expansion will be based on a private finance initiative (PFI) The cost of this expansion will be more than RM1.2 billion. He said, “We will open the tender for the expansion project this year. We hope that the process can start this year and the private company appointed by the end of this year. A PFI will help us undertake the expansion project more efficiently as well as save our cash resources.” Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told the New Straits Times that Penang welcomed the expansion plan and hoped that it could start as scheduled. Article in nst.com.my here.

Kulim International Airport (KXP) will also be coming up. Earlier article here. I hope both would be complementary instead of competing because lots of money will be invested into both and these two airports are less than an hour from one another. (distance is less than 50km). By the way, let’s understand that its highly unlikely for an airline to fly in to PIA and then take off and touch down again in KXP yeah. 😛 In other words, the MB of Kedah and the CM of Penang better be very clear how to do things productively! Happy enjoying more tourists, Penang. I just bought a return flight between KL – Penang for RM78. Pretty awesome deal I must say.

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

written on 6 March 2019

Next suggested article: lRm2.6 billion investment into Penang. One of the partners is IKEA.

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