By SYLVIA LOOI
IPOH: Budget carriers AirAsia and Firefly are courting the Perak government to operate a low-cost carrier terminal at the Batang Padang district.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said discussion on the airport offering international flights started in May and to date two meetings on the matter had been held.
The state’s commitment is only to provide between 1,212ha and 1,616ha of land while the operator would foot the development cost of the airport, he said yesterday. The new airport would also handle cargo flights.
Speaking to reporters after receiving a courtesy call from Japanese ambassador Masahiko Yoire at his office, Nizar said that the plan, however, still hinged on clearance from the Transport Ministry and Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB).
The state, said Nizar, needed an international airport to attract foreign investors.
Nizar also added that the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here would be used only to service local flights if the Batang Padang airport project took off.
On the courtesy call, Nizar said that the ambassador had expressed Japan’s confidence in the Pakatan Rakyat-led states.
He had received positive feedback from Perak-based Japanese companies of which two of them would expand their operations here.
The ambassador, said that Nizar, also discussed plans to package Perak’s tourism products to attract Japanese tourists.
They also discussed student exchange programmes between Fukuoka University and universities in Perak.