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Malaysia Airports reiterates that KLIA2 is safe for operations

Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) has assured airlines that facilities at KLIA2, including the terminal, apron and taxiways are safe for operations.

In a detailed statement, the airport operator says it adheres to regulations by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), in accordance to the standards and recommended practices of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

MAHB's response follows recent complaints by KLIA2's anchor airline AirAsia that the passenger terminal is sinking with cracks appearing on the taxiway and water pools forming. One of its Airbus A320s was also involved in a rollback incident on 17 July, resulting in its landing gear shifting and flight delayed.

In the statement, MAHB says it took an "accelerated development approach" when constructing KLIA2 to cope with the increasing congestion at the old Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) and to cater to AirAsia’s growth.

“This involved a ground treatment method that requires maintenance to be performed to manage the differential settlement such as routine patching works, resurfacing or overlay works; as well as long-term solution such as the construction of concrete slabs and injection of polyurethane (PU) material underground at affected parking aprons and taxiways.”

MAHB says this approach enabled the project to be completed in four years, adding that maintenance works are expected to decline to a minimum level in the next five years.

It also stressed that KLIA2 had received all the necessary safety certifications prior to the terminal’s opening. They include the Certificate of Completion and Compliance which certifies the terminal as safe for operations, as well as the Aerodrome Certificate by the DCA certifying that the terminal’s runway, apron and taxiways comply with ICAO airport standards.

While acknowledging the issue of ponding at the airport, MAHB says this is due to differential settlement on the apron and taxiways and that only 2.3% of the airport area is affected.

A joint inspection committee, comprising of ground safety managers and safety officers of AirAsia, AirAsia X and Malindo airlines regularly conduct onsite inspection and verification on the rectification works, it adds.

AirAsia has however threatened to shift back to the LCCT until MAHB comes up with a permanent solution to the settlement issues at KLIA2.

MAHB responds that moving back to the LCCT is “not a feasible option” as the facility will not be able to cater to the current passenger traffic.

LCCT’s maximum capacity is at 15 million passengers per annum, as compared to the 24 million capacity at KLIA2. MAHB adds that passenger numbers at KLIA2 have grown 6.8% in the past 12 months, as compared to the same period in 2014 at the old LCCT. Transfer passengers have also doubled.

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