Penang govt wants new international airport built on reclaimed land in Batu Maung

Chow said the expansion of the existing Penang International Airport (PIA) will only be able to last for another 20 or 30 years before passenger and cargo capacity is exceeded again. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Chow said the expansion of the existing Penang International Airport (PIA) will only be able to last for another 20 or 30 years before passenger and cargo capacity is exceeded again. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 9 — The Penang state government has proposed that a new international airport be built on reclaimed land in Batu Maung after 2050.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the expansion of the existing Penang International Airport (PIA) will only be able to last for another 20 or 30 years before passenger and cargo capacity is exceeded again.

“To fulfil airport needs after 2050, we suggest that a Northern Corridor International Airport be built on reclaimed land in Batu Maung, near to Pulau Rimau,” he said.

He said the state government will conduct a feasibility study on this proposal soon.

He said the state government is now working with federal agencies on preparing a comprehensive PIA Master Plan to double its capacity and improve its services and cargo facilities.

“This plan will look at the need to expand the runway to be able to accommodate Airbus A380 and create new international flights to Penang,” he said.

He said the state will continue to discuss the PIA expansion plans with the relevant ministries.

Under the state’s public transportation plans, Chow said the free Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) bus services, which were introduced in April this year, will be continued.

“We will allocate RM15 million to continue the CAT bus service for 2019,” he said.

Earlier, Chow tabled a RM901.19 million Budget for 2019 with a projected deficit of RM395.69 million, making it the eighth consecutive deficit budget for the state since 2011.

The Budget is lower than this year’s budget of RM1.213 million while the deficit is almost half of the projected deficit of RM748.5 million for 2018.

He said the projected revenue for 2019 is RM505.50 million.

“The deficit is not only due to the operation expenditure of RM671.19 million but due to the transfer of RM230 million from the consolidated funds to the state development funds to fund development projects totalling RM306.38 million,” he said.

He said the Budget for 2017 projected a deficit of RM667.11 million, but at the end of 2017, the state recorded a surplus of RM51.16 million, which contributed to the state’s cash reserves of RM1.09 billion.

“We are positive that we will record surpluses for 2018 and 2019,” he said.

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