Subang Skypark to emerge as aerospace city by 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd is set to embark on a RM420 million ambitious infrastructure development plan to transform the former Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, now known as Subang Skypark, into a full-fledged aerospace city by 2015.

Its Executive Director, Tan Sri Ravindran Menon, said the company was planning to utilise between 4 and 4.8 hectares of land, opposite Terminal 3, to build a boutique hotel, an aviation museum and theme park, as part of a retail mall.

"We are in the final round of talks with our expert joint-venture partner, a local established player in the retail and hotel industry. The development, named Skypark Nexus, will have an approximate built-up
area of one million square feet and will rejuvenate the airport's branding as well as enhance the wholesomeness of customer experience in the airport and its surrounding areas," he told Bernama.

Ravindran said all negotiations were expected to be concluded by year-end and works were expected to commence in January.

He added that Skypark Nexus, which would be completed in 24 months, was budgeted to cost between RM300 million and RM350 million. He said the proposed retail mall and hotel would be between four and five-storeys high and Subang Skypark was now talking to the local government to
widen the main roads fronting the proposed development to avoid traffic congestion.

While describing the project as a perfect public private partnership, Ravindran said the cost would be financed through internal fundings and bank borrowings.

"The special aspect in the development is that, there will be a bridge linking the mall and the terminal building - a concept rarely seen in any other city airports worldwide," he said, adding that Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd would invest more than RM70 million to build five new hangars across the current
airport runway.

"We have just awarded the contracts and the hangars will be sprawled over 12 hectares across the runway. The works have begun and we expect them to be operational June next year. These hangars will be for parking and maintenance, repair and operations of both private and corporate jets. Each of the hangars can accommodate up to five aircrafts at any one time," he said.

He added the new facilities would elevate Subang Skypark to be on-par with other city airports and corporate aviation operators, worldwide. Since most aviation-related corporations headquarters were situated in the surroundings of Subang Skypark, Ravindran said Subang would be better known as a aerospace city in the next three years.

"We want to be a fine example to Malaysia Airports on how to develop a city airport. This place will surely boom in years to come as all aviation-related investments will come to this area.
"There are also plans to establish an aviation technical college, of which Measat Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd, is currently looking at that proposal," he said.

Subang Airport was officially opened to traffic on Aug 30, 1965, and had the longest runway in Southeast Asia, replacing the old Sungai Besi Airport. Before the 1998 opening of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport served as Kuala Lumpur's main international airport.

The airport underwent renovation works at Terminal 3 from February 2008 and was completed in October 2009, and was later renamed as Subang Skypark, which is the current hub for Berjaya Air and Firefly.-- Bernama

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