Friday, 23 January 2009

Najib: No Decision Yet On New LCCT In Labu - Malaysiakini

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the government has yet to decide on a new airport in Labu, located less than 10km away from the KL International Airport's (KLIA) and to be exclusively used by budget carrier AirAsia, according to Malaysiakini.

The deputy Prime Minister said that the government was studying the Labu LCCT proposal to see "if we can go ahead or we need to make a different arrangement.

"We are looking at it but have yet to make any decision. I cannot pre-empt the decision by making an announcement," he said today.

If the government gives the green light for the project, the new LCCT is expected to be ready by March 2011.

His announcement today was in contrast to a disclosure by Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat on Dec 21 that the government has approved the RM1.6 billion airport.

Ong had said then that the new airport - to be called KLIA East @ Labu - would be jointly built by AirAsia and conglomerate Sime Darby on a 2,800-hectare site in Labu under a private finance initiative.

Since then however there had been a public outcry over the necessity of four airports serving Kuala Lumpur with many critics saying AirAsia should just make use of the present LCCT in Sepang as it will soon be expanded and incorporated with the KLIA, with possibility of a new runway added.

In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, AirAsia chief executive office Tony Fernandes said that the new airport was necessary for the survival of his budget carrier.

The AirAsia boss will also be meeting with Najib next Friday to press his case for the new airport.

And judging by Najib's announcement today, Fernandes must be at his best in putting forward his case before the incoming premier. Excerpts from Malaysiakini

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