MAHB announced the reopening of the airport, located in Padang Matsirat, Langkawi, Kedah on September 1, nearly a year after expansion works started in October last year. The airport’s expansion was finished on schedule, allowing its capacity to rise from 1.5 million passengers yearly to 4 million.
“[The airport] will be better positioned to support Langkawi’s growth as a popular tourist destination, as well as act as a larger catalyst to its economic development. On a larger picture, it will also strengthen the country’s position as a preferred global hub,” said the MAHB in a statement.
It added that the expansion was in line with the airport operator’s aim to enhance the airport experience of users and elevate service levels at all its airports.
MAHB said that following improvements, total gross floor area of the terminal building has increased from 15,000 square meters to 23,000 square meters, resulting in a comfort level of 22 square meters per passenger.
Terminal facilities have also been upgraded to reduce congestion and improve operational efficiencies. This includes enlarging the airport car park to a total of 600 bays compared to 400 previously.
The number of counters at passenger touchpoints has also grown from 24 check-in counters to 30 and that of immigration counters has increased from 14 to 18.
The airport now also features an in-line hold baggage handling system, which is an automated system with three levels of security screening, allowing for more efficient check-in process.
Other upgrades include increasing the number of boarding gates to eight from five previously, as well as adding washroom facilities and refurbishing existing ones.
Meanwhile, acting group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said several foreign airlines have expressed an interest to operate from the airport.
Raja Azmi said six airlines are currently operating from Langkawi, flying to four domestic destinations and five international destinations, with a combined weekly frequency of 238 flights.
In 2017, the Langkawi airport registered 2.7 million passenger traffic movements with a 14.6% increase in international passengers. As at year to June 2018, international passenger traffic movements increased by 23.9% compared to the same period in 2017, the executive said.