After much delay Malaysian authorities have settled on an aviation policy and plan to announce details later this year.
The policy, which aims to regulate the industry and promote healthy and fair competition among the industry players, includes a plan to build dedicated passenger terminals at major airports in the country for low cost airlines’ operations. Currently only two such terminals exist, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Those facilities will continue to enjoy lower passenger service tax and landing and parking fees.
The aviation policy also calls for construction of a new air traffic control center at KLIA at a cost of $212 million. Under the plan, construction will start in the fourth quarter of this year and conclude in 2017.
An official at the Ministry of Transport in Putrajaya said the policy will set the government’s objectives to support the development and expansion of the aviation industry and create more jobs.
The five local airlines, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, MasWings, Firefly and Malindo Air, and the respective maintenance, repair and overhaul units have created jobs for about 40,000 people.
Despite robust growth, only relatively loose guidelines have governed the local aviation industry, often causing confusion.
In the early 1990s senior executives from the MOT and Malaysia Airlines initiated a plan to draw up a policy but it collapsed under its own bureaucratic weight.