Company involved in Changi Airport to lead PIA expansion

The Penang International Airport recorded 7.79 million passengers last year.

GEORGE TOWN: The long-awaited expansion and upgrade of the Penang International Airport (PIA) will be led by the Singaporean consortium which built the republic’s Changi Airport, the state assembly was told today.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota) said two companies have been selected as consultants of the project: Consortium CPG Consultants Pte Ltd (CPG) and AHS Architects Sdn Bhd.

The companies are responsible for proposing a plan and design for the transport ministry and MAHB. Contractors will be appointed to start work in June next year.

He said they had won an open tender held by Malaysian Airports Holding Bhd on Feb 15. Work is scheduled to begin in June 2020, and will likely take three years to finish.

Chow did not reveal how much the project would cost, but said the capacity of PIA would be upgraded from the present 6.5 million passengers per year to 12 million.

He said this during question time at the state assembly, in reply to Goh Chun Aik (PKR-Bukit Tambun) who had asked about the status of the PIA expansion project.

This follows Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s statement that the airport’s capacity would be upgraded to 16 million passengers per year, with the project footed through a private financing initiative (PFI) at the cost of RM1.2 billion.

PIA has been bursting at its seams, recording a total of 7.79 million passengers last year.

According to CPG’s website, the Singapore-based company was involved in the development of Changi Airport in the 1970s. It expanded its subsequent terminals – 1 and 2 – and built Terminal 3 in 2008.

CPG was a corporatised entity of the former Public Works Department of Singapore from 1999 to 2003. It has been held privately since then.

Chow also said Kedah’s plan to build a new international airport in Kulim would have an adverse effect on Penang, basing this on two feasibility reports seen by the Penang government.

He also said Kedah’s plan to use the Kulim airport exclusively for cargo purposes might not pan out as Penang’s cargo terminal is already adequate, with room for expansion.

“Penang is of the opinion that the transport ministry ought to deliberate on this matter again, and a detailed study ought to be carried out so that it is holistic and beneficial to all parties.

“Every state has its right to development, but this is close to Penang,” he added. “A win-win situation should be reached between us and Kedah.”

Kedah was recently given the green light to build a new airport in Kulim at a cost of RM1.6 billion, to be funded through a PFI.

Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir said a special purpose vehicle company, KXP Airport City Holding Sdn Bhd, would look into developing the project.

The company began operations last month.