KUALA LUMPUR (June 10): The Ministry of Transport says it has not received any proposals to build a new airport in Penang, following a news report today stating that two private companies have plans to build one, but in two different locations in the state.
"The Ministry of Transport would like to stress that the ministry has never been informed of these proposals, never been involved in any discussions about them, and never received any proposal papers to build the two airports," it said in a statement today.
It said the power to build or to maintain an aerodrome or to allow any company with the licence to build, maintain and operate an aerodrome is a power that lies with the Ministry of Transport, as stipulated under the Civil Aviation Act 1969 (Act 3).
"The Ministry of Transport also urges the media to not make any speculative reports regarding the construction of airports without confirming this with the ministry.
"The ministry at this juncture is planning to upgrade the existing Penang International Airport at Bayan Lepas," it added.
An English daily today reported that a private company has proposed to the federal government its plans to build a new airport in Penang, and that another company is about to do the same soon.
It wrote that one proposal — called North Malaysia International Airport or NMIA — involves acquiring thousands of hectares of paddy land, while another — the Northern Region International Airport or Noria — entails reclaiming 5,000ha off the coast of south Seberang Perai. Both proposed locations are within 10km of each other.
The daily also wrote that if the plans materialise, it would spell the end for the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas.