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Monday, January 21, 2008

Big plans for land around KLIA

The proposed 1,100ha property development earmarked for the area surrounding Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) would see the full utilisation of about 15 per cent of land allocated for KLIA's non-aviation development.

The project is huge and would comprise hotels and office blocks, said Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad.

BASHIR: We are not totally dependent on commercial revenue... but we need it to remain profitable

He said details of the project are being finalised and will be announced in two to three months' time.

The location of the project is very near to the Formula One race track, he said when met in Sepang last week.

The KLIA land measured some 9,800ha and of the 33 per cent meant for aviation-related development, about 35 per cent has been developed to date.

The remaining will cater for future demand of the aviation industry, said Bashir after delivering his welcome speech to 80 participants of the 2008 Global Airport Expansion Asia Congress.

He said in today's fast changing world, one of the challenges faced is to ensure that airports continue to generate commercial revenue and MAHB currently derives about 45 per cent of its revenue from commercial activities.

Bashir is confident that in the years to come, the figure will further increase.

"We are not totally dependent on commercial revenue ... but we need this revenue to remain profitable," he said, adding that the group spends a substantial amount of money to achieve this target.

He said running the KLIA, the group has the advantage of having ample land and to develop it for aviation related activities to gain additional revenue.

"And it is just not only at KLIA we do this but at all the other 38 airports that we manage, as we want to be in the forefront in airport development," said Bashir.

MAHB has targeted to achieve RM580 million in commercial revenue in 2008 and grow this to 50 per cent of the total revenue by 2010.

For the year ended December 31 2006, commercial services generated revenue of RM439 million for the company.

By New Straits Times (by Roziana Hamsawi)

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