Senai International Airport completes RM11.9mil expansion project, ready to welcome 5 million tourists annually05 Oct 2023, by New Straits Times

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi (centre) officiating the Senai International Airport’s expansion in Senai. -NSTP/NUR AISYAH MAZALAN

JOHOR BARU: The Senai International Airport's RM11.9mil expansion project to accommodate five million tourists annually was completed on time.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi officiated the new adjoining building that was expanded with five additional departure gates, covered pedestrian walkways, seating areas, elevators, escalators, stairs, restrooms, fire alarm systems, flight information display systems, close -circuit television systems, Wi-Fi facilities, and retail shops, which are all accessible to those with disabilities, today.

The expansion was necessary to accommodate the airport's foot traffic which increased from four million to five million, per annum.

The expansion to the airport (also known as the Sultan Ismail International Airport) commenced in March 2020 and was fully completed in August this year.

The expansion project encompassed 1,690 square metres, increasing the terminal's total area to 9,806 square metres.

It included upgrading the facilities to improve the efficacy, safety, and efficiency of passenger operations by airlines, as well as the comfort and satisfaction of passengers.

Senai Airport served 1,993,897 passengers between January and August.

MMC Group managing director Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said the airport, administered by MMC group, played a vital role as the gateway for air travel to Iskandar Malaysia and the southern region, providing essential pathways and services to meet the requirements of travellers and businesses.

He said the new building was built in a cost-effective manner where further expansion would be carried out, such as adding another floor to its existing structure.

"Based on projections by Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATSSB), the expansion project is expected to handle an even greater number of passengers by the year 2026," he said.

"In line with SATSSB's long-term plans, the new departure hall can be further upgraded in the future, as the building's foundation is designed to accommodate an increase from one level to two levels, which can accommodate an additional two million passengers, based on the target passenger capacity of seven million by 2030," he added.

Che Khalib said history had proven that Senai International Airport had contributed to the state's economic development, particularly the local community and its surroundings.

This included creating business opportunities for local entrepreneurs, job prospects, and fostering supply chain utilisation among the local population.

Currently, there are five airlines operating at Senai Airport, offering flights to 12 domestic destinations and five destinations in Asean and internationally.

Recently, the international route between Johor Baru and Jakarta, operated by PT TransNusa Aviation Mandiri (TransNusa) aligns with SATSSB's long-term strategy to bring international carriers to Johor Baru.

With TransNusa's five weekly flights, it becomes easier for Indonesians to travel and discover Johor as a tourism, medical tourism, business, and holiday destination.

Earlier, the New Straits Times reported Onn Hafiz's modernisation project plans which aligns with his Johor Maju manifesto.

The menteri besar wants Johor to be recognised as the first developed state in the country by 2030 and is working effortlessly towards the objective by upgrading public facilities and amenities including hospitals, roads, transportation systems, tourism destinations and most importantly, public services, among others.