Malaysia's finance ministry has given its approval for Malaysia Airports (MAHB) to immediately begin expansion work on Penang International airport.
The company put out a statement clarifying its position after a local news report quoted Penang Island's state chief minister Chow Kon Yeow as saying that "certain issues" had hampered the airport's expansion.
MAHB says it has been working on a plan for the airport's expansion, in engagement with Malaysia's transport ministry, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) and the Penang Island state government.
It also intends to submit the plan to the City Council of Penang Island for a planning approval, having received clearance from three other government entities.
MAHB did not share details of the project, such as the intended capacity increase, other than to say that it is studying the available investment and funding options. It had also sought approval for the project to be funded under the proposed MAVCOM Regulated Asset Base framework, and that it believes it is able to fully fund the project.
Upon approval by the City Council of Penang Island, MAHB expects to begin construction in the first quarter of 2020.
Cirium schedules data shows that Penang is linked to 14 international destinations, and eight domestic points. AirAsia Group carriers are the largest providers of seat capacity from Penang, followed by Firefly, Malindo Air and Malaysia Airlines.