Official Launch of SENAI CARGO TERMINAL by YAB PM Signals A New Beginning!14 Aug 2006
Johor Bahru, August 14 – The launch of Sultan Ismail International Airport’s Senai Cargo Terminal today by the Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi signals a new beginning for the airport as it prepares to take on air cargo activities in Johor and the region now that its cargo infrastructure consisting of a cargo terminal, a 1-stop customs facility and offices for airline freighters is operational and an adjacent cargo agents complex which is nearing completion.
Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS), the operator of the country’s sole private airport, envisages that the cargo facilities will form a key part of a long term development plan to transform the airport into a key logistics hub in South East Asia.
“SATS aims to provide service that is efficient with fast turnaround time, and is working with local ports to turn Johor into a logistics hub. Unlike other city-based airports, Johor's Senai has vast land area which can be developed to provide a range of aviation and logistics-related services; and operating costs which are comparatively low," said Kennedy Ayu, the Airport General Manager.
The cargo terminal is part of the Senai Cargo Centre Development which consititute a central, convenient and strategic location for logistics players to run their operations from an airport area, capitalizing on the logistics infrastructures, facilities and services. Essentially, this will serve as a competitive edge for the cargo terminal’s business partners in addition to the highly customized service which is accorded by the terminal.
Senai Cargo Terminal has been operational since August 2004 and has a built-up area of 3,600 sq m with a capacity to handle 100,000 tonnes cargo per annum. In addition, the cargo terminal is also able to accommodate two full B747 freighters and three narrow body freighters at any one time.
Located within a soon-to-be designated Free Zone, and equipped with a one-stop customs facility, the terminal offers ample storage area, a build and break area, as well as sufficient floor space to handle and store perishable items along with a separate area to house dangerous products.
Next to the cargo terminal, SATS is also constructing a Cargo Agents Complex where it intends to provide 20 units comprising 2,500 sq ft for warehousing and 1500 sq feet of office space. . A showroom unit is now ready for viewing purposes by prospective tenants.
“ Within the first two years since commencing operations, Senai Cargo Terminal has been involved with notable business activities that underlined its capabilities and potential to be an important player in the region. For instance, in October last year, the world’s second largest freighter, the Antanov-124 uplifted from Senai, equipment which included helicopters, pick-up trucks and spare parts for United Nation’s worldwide relief mission in Islamabad, Pakistan,” according to Kennedy Ayu.
Following that, Senai Cargo Terminal also received the arrival of SC-5 Shorts Belfast, the world’s largest and only remaining one of its kind turbo-prop powered aircraft to air-lift heavy and odd-sized cargo.
SATS’ highly-trained ground handling team has earned the trust of two airlines to be their cargo handling agents in Senai – namely AirAsia and MASKargo. AirAsia, through their appointed agent, Cargo Counts GmbH had awarded the right for SATS to handle their domestic and international cargo since September 2005. In March 2006, MASKargo, the anchor customer of the cargo signed an agreement with SATS which enabled SATS to be the cargo handling agents for MASKargo.
Kennedy Ayu said that Senai Cargo Terminal has started to receive a steady increase in ad-hoc movements which augur well for cargo activities to intensify in line with the terminal’s objective to serve as a convenient import and export gateway for Johor and the region.
“As we strive to provide excellent services and facilities, we remain focused and committed to ensure that our rates remain competitive and among the lowest in the region” Kennedy added.
In addition, Kennedy said Senai was in the unique position of being able to tap into the synergy with its associate companies such as the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Johor Port to offer a highly viable and integrated logistics solution to its business partners. In the process, this means that Senai’s main selling points are its cost competitiveness relative to neighbouring airports and its built-in advantages such as facilities which are on par with global standards.
In 2005, the Senai Cargo Terminal was voted as one of three finalists of the 19th Asia Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA) in the “Best Emerging Airport - Asia” that recognizes developments and achievements for airports handling cargo tonnage of up to 500,000 tonnes per annum.