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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MAHB hiring firms to help build budget terminal

MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) is in the midst of hiring consulting and architecture firms to help build the new permanent low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang.

Senior general manager of operations Datuk Azmi Murad said construction works should start by year-end.

He, however, did not say if MAHB had started accepting bids for the construction.

Azmi was speaking after the launch of a flight information speech system called "KLIA One Touch" in Sepang yesterday.

MAHB managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said last month that the airport operator was confident of completing the new LCCT and a new runway in two-and-a-half years once work starts.

He estimated that the development cost would not exceed RM2 billion.

The new LCCT can handle up to 30 million passengers a year, with the capacity for expansion of up to 45 million passengers.

Azmi said total passenger arrivals at the KLIA and the current LCCT dropped 0.6 per cent to 8.7 million arrivals year-on-year in the first four months of 2009.

During the January-April period, there was a 16 per cent drop in passenger traffic at the KLIA to 4.7 million, but this was offset by a 31 per cent growth at the LCCT.

Nevertheless, Azmi said he is happy because there has been no cancellations arising from the influenza A (H1N1) outbreak.

"People are cautious of travelling. If they need to, the option is to go for a lower cost of travel. That's why there's negative growth at the main terminal. But I don't see any contraction due to the H1N1 outbreak," he added.

Users can now get flight information directly from KLIA One Touch by calling 03-8776 0888.

The 24-hour system is a self-service interactive voice response provided by NuSuara Technologies Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Inc.

For arrival flights, queries can be made based on either flight number or flight's origin city. For departures, queries can be made based on flight number or flight's destination city.

"KLIA One Touch is capable of handling 30 calls at any one time with two language options available - Bahasa Malaysia and English," NuSuara chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramly Abbas said.

By Business Times (by Zuraimi Abdullah)

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