Penang International Airport expansion project starts 2023

Penang International Airport expansion project starts 2023

Airport expansion needs to happen before it’s needed

A long time ago, some people said that instead of building KLIA, the government should just focus on expanding the Subang airport. Fortunately, the plan for KLIA proceeded because the Prime Minister then just went ahead. Haha. Today, KLIA is said to need future expansions too especially when we look at the sudden increase in passengers and suddenly everyone needed to wait for hours to pass the immigration.

We have a good news on Penang International Airport (PIA). The expansion plans will start this year and this has been confirmed by our Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

Article in Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said, “The expansion project will take three to four years to complete to increase the capacity of the airport to 12 million passengers per annum.”

He added that MAHB will be calling for tender to implement the expansion project within two months from now.

Loke said the expansion project will be fully funded by the MAHB.

He said, “The Penang International Airport is the third busiest airport in the country with a capacity of 6.5 million passengers per annum currently.” Do refer here for the full article: Article in

Statistically speaking about airports

Many people look at me when I tell them that PIA is NOT the second busiest airport after KLIA. To them, “how could this be?” Yes, it could be. Kota Kinabalu Internationall Airport (KKIA) is the second busiest airport and if it’s not because it’s bursting at its seams, it could have even more. There are also plans for the expansion of KKIA but that’s another story. The below shows all the passenger traffic for the main airports in Malaysia up till 2019 (which is most accurate since Covid started in 2020).

airport stats

About Penang International Airport

In 2022, PIA recorded 4.27 million passengers per annum and this is a positive sign that things are normalizing. The last upgrade for PIA was in 2009 and it was completed in 2013. Meanwhile the proposed Kulim International Airport (KXP) has not submitted an application for an aerodrome licence for KXP. MAHB operates 39 airports in the country based on a cross-subsidising model including the two airports in Kedah. Thus, competition which will causes losses to MAHB will not be encouraged.

Happy understanding and start planning for your holidays!

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