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Penang International Airport (IATA: PEN, ICAO: WMKP) is one of the busiest airports in Malaysia. The airport is located near Bayan Lepas at the southeastern tip of Penang Island, 16 km (9.9 mi) south of the city centre.[1] Previously known as the Bayan Lepas International Airport, it was opened in 1935, making it the oldest airport in the country.

Penang International Airport

Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang
Penang Airport MRD.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Malaysia
OperatorMalaysia Airports
ServesGreater Penang
LocationLapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Bayan Lepas, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Hub for
Time zoneMST (UTC+08:00)
Elevation AMSL11 ft / 3 m
Coordinates05°17′49.7″N 100°16′36.71″E / 5.297139°N 100.2768639°E / 5.297139; 100.2768639Coordinates: 05°17′49.7″N 100°16′36.71″E / 5.297139°N 100.2768639°E / 5.297139; 100.2768639
Map
PEN/WMKP is located in George Town, Penang
PEN/WMKP
PEN/WMKP
Location within    George Town in    Penang
PEN/WMKP is located in Peninsular Malaysia
PEN/WMKP
PEN/WMKP
PEN/WMKP (Peninsular Malaysia)
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 3,352 10,997 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passenger7,790,423 (Increase 7.7%)
Airfreight (tonnes)145,649 (Increase 8.5%)
Aircraft movements75,552 (Increase 7.0%)

Penang International Airport is a medium-sized airport with frequent connections to major cities in Asia such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Medan, Hong Kong and Taipei, and serves as the main airport for northern Malaysia. In addition, Penang International Airport is the third-busiest airport in Malaysia in terms of passenger traffic and the second-busiest in terms of cargo tonnage.[2] The airport is also one of the hubs of the Malaysian low-cost carriers, AirAsia and Firefly.[3]

Passengers arriving from the north will have a view of George Town, Butterworth, and both the Penang Bridge and the Second Penang Bridge. Waiting times for check-in and baggage claims are relatively short compared to other larger regional airports. The airport is not crowded and basic facilities are available for users.

Penang International Airport won the Best Emerging Airport (Asia) award in the 23rd annual Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards 2009 (AFSCA), and was named the Airport of the Year (below 15 million passengers annually) in the 2009 Frost and Sullivan Asia Pacific Aerospace and Defence Awards.

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Penang International Airport at night

The airport, then named Bayan Lepas International Airport, was completed in 1935, when Penang was part of the British crown colony of the Straits Settlements.[4]

When the Imperial Japanese Army attacked Penang in December 1941, the airport was one of the first places to be hit by Japanese air raids.[5] The Japanese sought to neutralise the British and Australian air force units by targeting all airfields in Penang, including RAF Butterworth and the Bayan Lepas International Airport.

In the 1970s, a major expansion of the airport was carried out, during which a terminal building of Minangkabau architecture was built and the runway extended to accommodate Boeing 747s, then the largest passenger jet aircraft. Upon the completion of the expansion works in 1979, the airport was renamed Penang International Airport.[4]

The airport was renovated between 2009 and 2013, giving the terminal building a major facelift. At present, Penang International Airport is run by the national airport operator, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

Panoramic aerial view of Penang International Airport and the Second Penang Bridge as of January 2017

FacilitiesEdit

 
Passenger check-in counters

Penang International Airport has the capacity to handle up to 6.5 million passengers per year, while its cargo centre can handle 360,000 tonnes of cargo within the same annual period.[6] Its two runways are about 3.35 km (2.08 mi) in total length.

The airport also has 64 check-in desks and 11 gates, 12 aerobridges and three luggage claim belts. The terminal building houses various restaurants, boutiques and shops, as well as premium passenger lounges.

The airport became a source of contention between the Penang state government and the Malaysian federal government in recent years, as transportation infrastructure throughout Malaysia falls under the purview of the latter authority. Calls by the Penang state government to expand the airport largely went unheeded by the Malaysian federal government, even though the airport has exceeded its maximum capacity of 6.5 million passengers.[7] In 2017, the federal authorities finally announced plans to expand the airport to accommodate 12 million passengers per year by 2029.[8][9]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

PassengerEdit

AirlinesDestinations
AirAsia Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuching, Langkawi, Medan, Melaka (begins 1 July 2019),[10] Phuket, Singapore,
Batik Air Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta[11]
Cathay Dragon Hong Kong
China Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan
Citilink Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Surabaya[12]
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou
Firefly Banda Aceh, Kota Bharu, Kuantan, Kuala Lumpur–Subang, Langkawi, Phuket
Indonesia AirAsia Jakarta–Soekarno-Hatta, Medan, Surabaya
Jetstar Asia Airways Singapore
Lion Air Medan
Lucky Air Kunming
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International
Seasonal: Jeddah, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Medina
Malindo Air Banda Aceh, Kuala Lumpur–International, Kuala Lumpur–Subang, Melaka
Seasonal: Hat Yai
Qatar Airways Doha
Scoot Singapore
SilkAir Singapore
Sriwijaya Air Medan
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang
Thai Smile Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi

CargoEdit

AirlinesDestinations
Cathay Pacific Cargo Jakarta–Soekarno–Hatta, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh,[13] Singapore
China Airlines Cargo Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Taipei–Taoyuan
DHL Aviation Ho Chi Minh City
EVA Air Cargo Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei–Taoyuan[14]
FedEx Express Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur–International, Taipei–Taoyuan, Singapore
Korean Air Cargo Jakarta–Soekarno Hatta, Manila, Seoul–Incheon
MASkargo Kuala Lumpur–International, Shanghai–Pudong, Tokyo–Narita
UPS Airlines Kuala Lumpur–International, Shenzhen[15]

Operational statisticsEdit

 
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 parked at Penang International Airport

Penang International Airport is the third busiest airport in the country in terms of passenger traffic after Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Kota Kinabalu International Airport, and handles the second largest cargo tonnage of all Malaysian airports after Kuala Lumpur International Airport.[2] As of 2017, the airport posted a record 7.23 million tourist arrivals.[16]

 
A China Airlines Airbus A340-300 taxiing at Penang International Airport

Notably, Malaysia Airlines subsidiary, Firefly, has made Penang International Airport one of its main hubs. AirAsia, another domestic budget airliner, also operates out of Penang International Airport as one of its secondary hubs.[3]

Annual passenger numbers and aircraft statistics
Year
Passengers
handled
Passenger
% change
Cargo
(tonnes)
Cargo
% change
Aircraft
movements
Aircraft
% change
2003 2,334,669   197,567   30,558  
2004 2,987,993   28.0 212,369   7.5 33,069   8.2
2005 2,834,545   5.1 221,971   4.5 34,616   4.7
2006 3,103,772   9.5 225,952   1.8 36,259   4.7
2007 3,173,117   2.2 208,582   7.7 39,265   8.3
2008 3,405,762   7.3 192,936   7.5 43,796   11.5
2009 3,325,423   2.4 137,775   28.6 43,621   0.4
2010 4,166,969   25.3 147,057   6.7 50,205   15.1
2011 4,600,274   10.4 131,846   10.3 54,713   9.0
2012 4,767,815   3.6 123,246   6.5 53,766   1.7
2013 5,487,751   15.1 153,703   24.7 60,020   11.6
2014 6,041,583   10.1 141,213   8.1 65,734   9.5
2015 6,258,756   3.6 130,392   7.7 66,670   1.4
2016 6,684,026   6.8 130,491   0.1 66,247   0.6
2017 7,232,097   8.2 134,187   2.8 70,609   6.6
2018 7,790,423   7.7 145,649   8.5 75,552   7.0
Source: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad[17]
Busiest international flights out of Penang International Airport by frequency
Rank Destinations Frequency (Weekly) Airlines Note
1   Singapore, Singapore 90 3K, AK, MI, TR, OD
2   Medan, Indonesia 57 AK, JT, SJ, QZ
3   Jakarta, Indonesia 21 XT, QG
4   Bangkok–Don Mueang, Thailand (DMK) 14 FD
5   Phuket, Thailand 14 FY, AK
6   Guangzhou, China 14 CZ
7   Hong Kong, China 11 KA
8   Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Thailand (BKK) 10 WE
9   Banda Aceh, Indonesia 7 FY, OD
10   Taipei, Taiwan 7 CI
11   Hanoi, Vietnam 4 AK
12   Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 4 AK
13   Doha, Qatar 4 QR
14   Hat Yai, Thailand 4 OD
15   Surabaya, Indonesia 3 QZ
16   Wuhan, China 3 OD
17   Haikou, China 2 OD
18   Sanya, China 2 OD
19   Kunming, China 2 8L
20   Nanning, China 2 OD
Busiest domestic routes out of Penang International Airport by frequency
Rank Destinations Frequency (Weekly) Airlines
1   Subang, Selangor (SZB) 170 FY, OD
2   Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) 157 AK, MH, OD
3   Langkawi, Kedah 35 AK, FY
4   Johor Bahru, Johor 25 AK
5   Kota Kinabalu, Sabah 14 AK
6   Kuching, Sarawak 14 AK
7   Kota Bharu, Kelantan 14 FY
8   Melaka, Melaka 7 OD
Top 10 nationalities of international arrivals (2016)
Rank Nationality Arrivals
1   Indonesia 264,546
2   Singapore 154,063
3   China 59,661
4   Japan 24,065
5   Australia 20,232
6   United States 17,099
7   United Kingdom 16,956
8   Thailand 15,471
9   Taiwan 14,225
10   India 7,401
Total 593,719
Source: Immigration Department of Malaysia[18]

Ground transportationEdit

Rapid Penang has provided five bus routes to and from Penang International Airport, connecting the airport with various parts of Penang Island.[19][20][21][22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ WMKP – PENANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT at Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia
  2. ^ a b "Malaysia Airports". Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b "AirAsia to turn Penang into fourth hub in Malaysia". The Star. 8 July 2009.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Handy Penang airport information from Skyscanner". www.skyscanner.co.in. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  5. ^ Barber, Andrew (2010). Penang at War : A History of Penang During and Between the First and Second World Wars. AB&A.
  6. ^ "International Airports". www.malaysiaairports.com.my. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Guan Eng demands Putrajaya approve Penang International Airport expansion now". 1 December 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Penang International Airport expansion to start soon". The Edge Markets. 13 February 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  9. ^ Opalyn Mok (12 February 2018). "Expansion project to double Penang airport capacity to 12 million passengers, says council head". Malay Mail.
  10. ^ https://newsroom.airasia.com/news/2019/4/10/airasia-spreads-its-wings-to-melaka
  11. ^ https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/284124/batik-air-schedules-penang-service-from-late-may-2019/
  12. ^ "Special Offer Surabaya Penang". Citilink. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Cathay Pacific Cargo Adds Phnom Penh Service from late-Nov 2014". Routes Online. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  14. ^ "EVA Air Cargo Schedule" (PDF). Retrieved 18 November 2016.[dead link]
  15. ^ "World Routes 2017 - Register to Attend". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Penang International Airport factsheet" (PDF). Malaysia Airports.
  17. ^ "Malaysia Airports: Airports Statistics 2018" (PDF). malaysiaairports. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  18. ^ "Pulau Pinang nombor 1, hasil pelancongan perubatan 2015 naik 5.55%" (PDF). Buletin Mutiara. 1 June 2017. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Route 102". Rapid Penang. Rapid Penang. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  20. ^ "Route 306". Rapid Penang. Rapid Penang. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  21. ^ "Route 401". Rapid Penang. Rapid Penang. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Rapid Penang AT Route". Rapid Penang. Retrieved 23 September 2017.

External linksEdit