New deals with MAHB can boost government coffers: Anthony Loke

SEPANG: The newly-signed agreements extending Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's (MAHB) airport management until 2069 have the potential to increase government revenue through profit-sharing on its land to be developed by the company. 

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said new terms under the operating agreement (OA) and land agreement (LA) will enable both parties to implement a more competitive commercial development plan. 

"With the implementation of the concept of cross-subsidy, all aspects of management and operation of the 17 STOLports (short take-off and landing air strip airports) which are the government's social responsibility at present, will continue to be entrusted to MAHB until 2069. 

"The implementation of the new OA and LA will also enable MAHB to plan better long-term development for all airports under its supervision, taking into account MAHB's expertise and experience, which have shown outstanding performance and achievements. 

"It will also enable MAHB to help alleviate the government's burden by taking over development costs involving competitive and competitive airports in the future," Loke said at the signing ceremony between MAHB and the government here today. 

In this regard, the minister noted that MAHB can collaborate with any interested parties to invest in airport development in the future. 

According to Loke, the government has todate approved two projects to upgrade the Penang International Airport and implement the Subang Airport Regeneration Plan (SARP) at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (LTSAAS), Subang, which will be carried out by MAHB. 

He added that MAHB is also currently examining several airport development projects that will be announced from time to time. 

Loke requested the cooperation of MAHB to ensure that maintenance aspects at all 39 airports managed by it are given priority. This is to ensure that the airport management services are always at an excellent and efficient level. 

He noted that airport management services such as check-in counter services, train services, buses, restrooms, baggage and trolleys are crucial to creating a more comfortable atmosphere and experience for passengers. 

MAHB also needs to ensure continuous improvements are implemented to enhance comfort, streamline passenger flow, and create a cheerful atmosphere for airport users. 

"This is especially important in preparing Malaysia for the Visit Malaysia Year 2026 celebration. 

"As desired last year, I want Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to return to its former glory as one of the top 10 airports in the world in Skytrax rankings.  

"We previously ranked second in 2021. So, we need to strive harder to provide the best services to passengers," he said. 

MAHB and the government today signed new agreements that would extend the company's management of airports to Feb 11, 2069 from 2034 previously.  

The agreements include an OA for KLIA and a separate one for designated airports aimed at ensuring sustainable growth and better services. 

According to MAHB, the new agreements offer MAHB "flexibility" to pursue strategic investments needed to improve capacity, facilities, and infrastructure. 

"With the signing of all agreements today, the government is confident that the global competitiveness of the country's airport services can be enhanced. 

"This will encourage and accelerate the growth of the country's aviation industry for the benefit and welfare of the people based on the concept of Malaysia Madani," Loke noted.

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