Kulim airport location ideal to develop into cargo hub, says analyst

The Kulim airport, to be built on a private finance initiative, will cost RM1.6 billion. (Facebook pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Construction of the Kulim airport will be better able to stimulate the economy instead of just depending on the Penang airport, says associate professor Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff.

The Universiti Putra Malaysia lecturer said many people did not realise the strategic location of Kulim and its potential to become the largest cargo centre in the northern region.

“This is a strategic move because the construction of the Kulim airport is more towards providing cargo services to industries and to open up more space for industrial expansion at a cheaper location and a lesser congested place compared with Penang,” he told FMT.

Razman said construction of the Kulim airport would not affect the economy in Penang as claimed by certain quarters and would instead help the state achieve an international financial hub status like Singapore.

However, another economic analyst, Abu Sofian Yaacob, is less convinced on the need for the Kulim airport, stating its location was too close to Penang’s airport.

“This airport project is not needed because Penang’s airport can be upgraded. That is sufficient to boost the economy of both states.

“There needs to be cooperation between Penang and Kedah to ensure certain measures are taken to develop the economy in the north,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali announced the construction of the Kulim International Airport valued at RM1.6 billion. The airport is to be built using the private finance initiative.

Other major projects slated for Kedah are a highway from Bandar Baharu to Sungai Petani and another from Bandar Baharu to the Penang second bridge at a cost of RM1.7 billion in two phases.

The distance between the Kulim airport and Penang’s airport is 45km.