LANGKAWI, March 21 – Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) plans to begin expansion of the Langkawi International Airport (LIA) next year after it was voted the best airport in Asia Pacific in the under two million passengers per year category for the second year running. MAHB managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said LIA has surpassed its handling capacity of 1.5 million and the plan to upgrade the airport has been included in the 11th Malaysia Plan. “The project to upgrade the LIA will begin next year and I believe it is timely as it will boost tourist arrivals in Langkawi,” he told Bernama at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (LIMA’15).
He said the upgrading project would be carried out in phases beginning with the expansion of the terminal halls. However, Badlisham did not reveal the cost of the upgrading works. Last month, LIA was voted the best airport in Asia Pacific in the under two million passengers per year category for the second year running under the Airport Council International Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award 2014. He also said 2.2 million passengers arrived at LIA last year and the bullish trend was expected to continue based on the number of tourist arrivals.
“Langkawi is developing progressively and the upgrading of LIA will be in line with the completion of Hotel St Regis Langkawi and Langkawi International Convention Centre. “Besides attracting tourists, we believe Langkawi will be more than capable of hosting international events once the upgrading project is completed,” he said. LIA is located at Padang Matsirat on the duty-free island and is about 25 minutes away from the town centre, Kuah.