Penang CM says Transport Ministry confirms no approval to build aerodrome in proposed Kulim airport

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during a press conference at Komtar in George Town August 30, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during a press conference at Komtar in George Town August 30, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Nov 29 — The Transport Ministry has clarified that it has not issued approval for the construction of an aerodrome in the proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) in neighbouring Kedah.

This was revealed by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today, citing the ministry’s written parliamentary reply to his previous question.

The Penang lawmaker said the construction of KXP was also subjected to National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP) study where the Kedah government will be required to provide information on realistic and accusation projections on the project to the NASP consultation team.

“The final approval for the construction of KXP will only be considered when the NASP study is completed along with compliance to all the conditions set by other government agencies,” Chow said in a statement, referring to the Transport Ministry’s official reply.

Chow, who is Tanjong MP, had submitted an oral question to the ministry regarding the construction of the proposed KXP project near Sungai Muda.

He had also asked the transport minister to detail out any action plan that the ministry will take to prevent any accidents or problems due to release of waste water from the KXP project to the Sungai Muda river including its aerotropolis project which is located only 6km from the Penang Water Supply Corporation Lahar Tiang water intake point.

According to the official reply from the ministry, the National Physical Planning Council gave a principal approval to the KXP project on October 27 last year which is still subjected to further consideration by the Transport Ministry and other government agencies such as Finance Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Department of Environment, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia and other agencies.

It clearly states that KXP is still subjected to the NASP study which will start at the end of 2021 for all 42 existing airports including the proposal to build a new airport.

“Therefore the Kedah state government will need to provide information to the NASP consultants on its realistic and accurate projections such as demand for passenger and cargo services along with commitment by airlines that wished to use KXP, especially in a post-Covid-19 era, to evaluate the viability of the project,” it said in its reply to Chow.

It stressed that the final approval for KXP will only be considered after the NASP study is completed and after complying with all conditions set by various government agencies such as the Environmental Impact Assessment, Social Impact Assessment, Traffic Impact Assessment and others.

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