MYSTERY OF 4TH RECLAIMED ISLAND ON PENANG MAP ‘SOLVED’ – DEALING ANOTHER BLOW TO CRITICS INSISTENT ON STOPPING THE STATE’S PROGRESS

GEORGE TOWN – The Penang government today said an oblong-shaped island drawn on a map of a recently-launched town planning master plan was meant for the possible relocation of the international airport there.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state government in March placed an “indicative plan” in the master plan to reclaim the island off the waters off Batu Maung.

This came after several NGOs and political parties were puzzled over the “fourth island” in the 2030 Penang Structure Plan (RSN), which was revealed recently.

This new island will come up adjacent to the waters off the Penang International Airport (PIA) in Batu Maung.

Jagdeep said the existence of this oblong island was now moot as the Penang Island City Council had already given airport operator Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad the go-ahead to expand the PIA on Dec 3.

“This (oblong island) was just a suggestion.

“This new airport on a reclaimed island has already been superseded by the proposed Kulim airport and the PIA expansion,” he said at a press conference held at the Penang Federal Development Office on Northam Road here today.

Consultant architect Abu Hassan Salleh, who was at the same press conference, said the PIA will have a capacity for 12 million passengers per year, compared to the current 6.5 million.

It was reported that PIA’s arrival numbers had exceeded eight million passengers per year last month.

He said the expansion will cost RM800 million and will take off in March and is expected to be completed in 2024. The project will have four phases.

It was also revealed that under the first phase, an apron or parking bays for aircraft would be increased from 15 to 28 bays. The taxiways will also be expanded.

Under the second phase, the current air traffic control tower would be torn down and will be replaced by a two-storey building. The plans also call for a new Fire and Rescue Department station.

In the last phase, the main terminal will be upgraded. After the upgrade, the main terminal’s floor space will be doubled from the current 54,000 sq ft.

– FMT

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