THE Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), managed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), recorded an 18.5 per cent increase in passenger movement to 34.4 million in the first nine months of this year over the corresponding period in 2012.
MAHB chairman Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah said passenger movement at KLIA's main terminal rose 24 per cent to 18.6 million, while passengers at the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) grew 11.8 per cent to 15.8 million.
Last year, MAHB recorded a total of 67.2 million passenger movements at all of its airports last year, a five per cent growth from the 64 million passengers in 2011. KLIA represents 60 per cent of the total passengers, or 40 million people.
On the 2014 Budget, Wan Abdul Aziz welcomed the government's incentives for the aviation sector, which include some RM1 billion allocation for the industry.
From the total, RM700 million will be used for the development of a new traffic management system at KLIA.
"This (the new air traffic system) will enable us to optimise the use of all our three runways at KLIA for the airlines. This will also put us significantly ahead of the other airports in the region," he said.
On the RM300 million allocation to upgrade airports nationwide, such as in Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Kuantan, Sandakan, Miri, Sibu and Mukah, Wan Abdul Aziz said this would allow Malaysia to be more competitive in offering capacity for the growth of local and regional aviation.
He added that MAHB is working closely with the government to continue upgrading the airport infrastructure for the comfort and convenience of the travelling public.
He also said the airport operator welcomed the proposed National Aviation Policy as airports, airlines and other stakeholders will be able to work together to promote air travel within the framework.
Meanwhile, the KLIA Awards 2012 saw national carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) bag the Airline of the Year, AirAsia Bhd named Low-Cost Airline of the Year, and Indonesia AirAsia win the Foreign Airline of the Year award.
The Promising New Foreign Airline of the Year award went to Mandala Airlines, while the Cargo Airline of the Year was Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd. Korean Air bagged the Foreign Airline of the Year - Cargo award.
The award, introduced in 2006, is one of the most important events in the country's aviation industry calender.
KLIA Awards winners were chosen based on their 2012 achievement in sectors such as passenger movement, growth factor, sales performance, international recognition and their services performance.