KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 – The issue of international airport construction or upgrading should not be politicised as the federal government has never marginalised any state, including those ruled by the opposition. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the government, instead, was prepared to look at any application on the matter as building or upgrading airports to international standard required indepth studies.
“This is because it involves various aspects including cost which is high, security as well as the demands of airline companies,” he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2015 for the Transport Ministry at the Dewan Rakyat, here, today. Liow said to build or upgrade an airport to international standard depended on demand from commercial airlines, and customs and security requirements.
“This is not a decision by the Transport Ministry alone. In fact, it involves the cooperation of state governments while the government did not discriminate between states administered by Barisan Nasional and those by the opposition coalition,” he said. On the new international airport in Kulim, Kedah, Liow said the government was evaluating the proposal and the study was expected to take six months.
“We need the DCA (Department of Civil Aviation) to conduct a study on air space safety and navigation safety, while Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad needs to look at the commercial viability, besides a study by the Economic Planning Unit,” he said. Recently, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said the Kedah government had proposed to the federal government, the construction of a new international airport in the state to boost its economic growth. Mukhriz said the construction of the airport for cargo and passengers had been submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently.