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MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is working with its consultant to define the scope of work for the expansion of the Penang International Airport (PIA). The scope of work will include elements and considerations for airports, such as ‘4.0 automation’, optimization of aircraft parking bays, carpark facilities and the development of an integrated transportation hub. “The airport currently has a capacity of 6.5 million passengers per annum (mppa) and the first phase of expansion will bring up the capacity to 12 mppa. The expansion for PIA will be guided by the Penang Airport Masterplan and Malaysia Airports’ ability to proceed with the development, which will depend on government approval of the new operating agreement. If the agreement is approved, it will allow Malaysia Airports to fund the development,” said MAHB in a statement. Penang infrastructure and transportation committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said: “The state government has no issues with the expansion project, and we are waiting for a decision from Malaysia Airports to start it.” PIA will have the capacity to process 25 million passengers annually by 2050, according to the current Penang Airport Masterplan, which was prepared by MAHB. “It is bigger than the earlier plan (12 million capacity) as according to a survey, we will reach this level by 2028 and will receive 16 million passengers in 2033. The expansion includes four phases and is expected to be completed in about 48 to 60 months,” said MAHB COO Mohd Shukrie during a briefing for the Penang government. The airport was opened in 1935. Then, a large-scale infrastructure expansion was carried out in the period 1977-1979, providing the airport with a capacity to accommodate 1.5 million passengers. It was later expanded again and upgraded in 1998 to a 3.5 million passenger capacity and 6.5 million in 2013. At present, the PIA expansion project is on hold, pending finalization of the National Airport Strategic Plan (NASP). The NASP study on airport development is expected to be completed in 2023 in line with the National Transport Policy. #1149.13