Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cabinet defers decision on KLIA 2 aerobridges

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 7, 2011): The cabinet has deferred its decision on the installation of aerobridges at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) low-cost carrier terminal pending further studies on the matter, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha today.
The cabinet will continue the feasibility study on installing aerobridges in response to the plight of the disabled community’s protest over Malaysian Airport Holdings Berhad’s (MAHB) decision not to instal the aerobridges.
Kong had promised to bring up the matter to the cabinet after meeting 11 representatives from the disabled community yesterday, including non-governmental organisation (NGO) Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport (B.E.A.T.) president Christine Lee.
“I brought up the issue during the discussion of the paper by (Women, Family and Community Development Minister) Datuk Seri Shahrizat (Abdul Jalil) that all public buildings must comply with disabled community friendly facilities.
“I met their representatives and I have informed the cabinet that KLIA 2 and generally all new main international airports need to have aerobridges. As the government, we must be caring and sympathetic to their needs,” Kong told theSun over a phone interview today.
However, Kong also said the Cabinet has “deferred making a decision, pending further studies on the matter”.
“This is the Cabinet’s decision. My stance on their plight is very clear. I am very sympathetic and I support their cause because the aerobridge can also be beneficial to others including pregnant mothers, infants and parents with infants and the elderly,” said Kong.
In a press conference earlier this week, Kong also said that KLIA is renowned worldwide as a first-class airport which means it should have “first-class facilities and not third-class facilities.”
The disabled community falls under the jurisdiction of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry. When asked whether its minister or any other members of the cabinet supported his proposal, Kong declined to comment.
Yesterday, 11 representatives from the disabled community met with Kong over the controversial decision by MAHB to forego the installation of 80 aerobridges at its new LCCT in KLIA 2 as it was not in line with AirAsia’s requirements and business model.

Its chairman Tan Sri Aris Othman said in July that the total cost for 80 aerobridges is around RM104 million. The RM2 billion KLIA 2 is expected to be completed in the second half of this year with an annual capacity 30 million passenger