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SEPANG: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced that the new low-cost airport, dubbed KLIA2, will be launched on June 28 this year, co-inciding with the launch date of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in 1998.
The premier said the airport was scheduled to be ready by May this year, but the operations would not be rushed as there were some teething issues to be solved before its opening.
"We should go through some of the teething problems with the new terminal and once it is ready, then KLIA2 will be fully operational.
"As a target, I have decided that it should co-incide with the date of the opening of KLIA. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to open KLIA2 on June 28," he said.
Najib said this at the launching of a specially designed 1Malaysia AirAsia aircraft livery to commemorate the start of 1Malaysia Integration Programme with AirAsia at the LCCT (Low-Cost Carrier Terminal) here today.
Also present were Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, AirAsia's Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad.
Bashir said MAHB welcomed the prime minister's decision not to rush the opening of the KLIA2 and to coincide it with the opening date of KLIA.
He said all issues pertaining to the new airport were expected to be settled before the opening date to avoid even any minor glitches during operations.
"We do not want to rush. I think the prime minister has the same thought in mind. We have seen many airports worldwide fail because they were rushed into operations.
"It is something exciting also if the date coincides (KLIA & KLIA2), as it will be a double celebration for us at MAHB," Bashir said.
The RM3.6 billion KLIA2, built to cater for the explosive growth expected in low-cost travel, is sprawled over 257,000 sq metres and is envisaged to handle a maximum of 45 million passengers a year.
The airport will have 60 gates, eight remote stands, 80 aerobridges, plus a retail space covering 32,000 sq metres to accommodate 225 retail outlets. -- BERNAMA