IPOH, Aug 4 — Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu has indicated his determination to bring a new international airport to the state, and hopes it can be done within this term.
Ahmad Faizal said it was “everybody’s dream” to have an international airport in Perak, and revealed he was in talks to make the dream a reality.
He stressed that a new airport would be a springboard for the state’s tourism sector, while also strengthening its’ industries.
“The previous administration spoke about it and I want to accelerate this further. I will knock on everyone’s door like a small kid who wants a toy, including the prime minister and the minister of transport,” he said tongue-in-cheek, referring to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anthony Loke respectively.
“An international airport would allow us to create more job opportunities. We can invite big companies to start maintenance, repair and overhaul businesses at the airport.”
“We must have an international airport. I hope I can do it within this term,” he added.
Asked about potential sites for the new airport, Ahmad Faizal said he was “okay with” the previous Barisan Nasional government’s proposed site of Seri Iskandar, if Putrajaya agrees.
However, he revealed that an airline also wanted to build a private airport in Behrang.
“That is also interesting, and I don’t mind,” he said.
Ahmad Faizal stressed that Ipoh’s existing Sultan Azlan Shah airport would not be laid by the wayside.
He said the airport could be a private jet hub similar to Subang’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, or even a seaplane hub.
“If it became a seaplane hub, we could have island-hopping and lake-hopping trips to Tasik Banding, Pangkor, or Redang Island.
“We have some ideas and we will talk to some companies, as we feel the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport can be developed further.
“It should be there and it should continue to serve us,” he added.
Previously, state Investment and Corridor Development executive council member Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin said the current administration could continue the previous BN administration’s plans of building a new international airport in the state.
Nizar told Malay Mail that a new airport was a good idea, adding that the current administration should “amplify” it further.