Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ipoh airport to be upgraded

The under-utilised Sultan Azlan Shah Airport’s terminal building will be upgraded and the runway lengthened so that the airport can service low-cost carriers. Last year, low-cost carrier, AirAsia, stopped flights from here to Senai, citing the short runway as the reason.

Due to the short runway, the airport cannot take in larger planes such as A320 Airbus which is a popular aircraft among low-cost carriers. The upgrade would include extending the runway, upgrading the terminal building and control tower so that bigger planes could use the airport.

The airport now serves only weekly flights from here to Medan.

Approval has been given to low-cost carrier, Firefly, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, to fly from Subang to Ipoh and Senai to Ipoh. Firefly would be using turbo propeller planes from Italy for the sector and is expected to take delivery of the new planes by the third-quarter of next year.

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