By Sharen Kaur
SENAI Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS), which has a 50-year concession to maintain, operate and develop the Senai International Airport in Johor, is investing RM145 million to lengthen and widen the runway to accommodate wide body aircraft.
It will also add taxiways and supporting electronics such as lighting and instrument landing system at the airport.
SATS general manager for finance, retail and commercial development, Chan Kwai Yew, said the works, financed through loans, will be completed by the end of this year. “There are three major airlines namely Malaysia Airlines (MAS), AirAsia and Firefly currently making stop-overs at Senai Airport and they are increasing their flights, hence the need to improve the airport complex,” he said in an interview.
SATS is forecasting passenger arrivals to grow from 1.6 million currently to three million by 2014.
It is expecting air cargo volume to hit 40,000 tonnes per year by the end of 2009 from 10,000 tonnes per year, with support from international freighters such as Qatar Airways and Airmark.
Belly cargo from passenger airlines like MAS and AirAsia will also contribute to the growth, Chan said.
He said the Aero Mall development at Senai Airport, which commenced this month, will support the expected passenger growth.
SATS is developing the lifestyle mall for RM93 million, which has been earmarked for completion by end-2009.
It will offer a total built-up area of 173,000 sq ft, comprising 50,000 sq ft of new retail lots and 30,000 sq ft of retail area at the open-air piazza. The mall will more than double passenger capacity at the airport from two million currently to 4.5 million, Chan said.
SATS also plans to spend an additional RM17 million in 2014 to expand the airport airside and departure hall, and upgrade equipment, to meet its target in passenger arrivals.
Source: New Straits Times on 25 Aug 08