Kuala Lumpur International Airport
|Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur
|The KLIA control tower and part of the airport|
|IATA: KUL – ICAO: WMKK|
|Owner||Government of Malaysia|
|Operator||Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad|
|Location||Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+08:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||70 ft / 21 m|
|Airfreight movements in tonnes||680,982|
|Source: AIP Malaysia|
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) (IATA: KUL, ICAO: WMKK) is Malaysia's main international airport and one of the major airports of South East Asia. Built at a cost of US$3.5 billion in Sepang district of Selangor, it is located approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Kuala Lumpur city centre and serves the Greater Klang Valley conurbation.
The airport can currently handle 40 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo a year. In 2010, it handled 34,087,636 passengers; in 2011 it handled 669,849 metric tonnes of cargo. It was ranked the 9th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic, and is the 4th busiest international airport in Asia. It was ranked the 19th busiest airport by cargo traffic in 2010.
- 1 History
- 2 Runways
- 3 Operations and infrastructure
- 4 Terminals
- 5 Airlines and destinations
- 6 Statistics
- 7 Ground transportation
- 8 Expansion and developments
- 9 Gallery
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
The ground breaking ceremony for Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) took place on 1 June 1993 when the government decided that the existing Kuala Lumpur International Airport, officially then known as Subang International Airport (now Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport) could not handle future demand. The 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia's Tun Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad instigated the project as part of the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor a grand development plan for the nation.
Upon KLIA's completion, Subang International Airport's Terminal 1 building was demolished. Malaysia Airports agreed to redevelop the remaining Terminal 3 to create Subang International Airport a specialist airport for turboprop and charter planes surrounded by a residential area and a business park.
The IATA airport code KUL was inherited from Subang International Airport, which currently handles only turboprop aircraft, general aviation and military aircraft. Subsequently, Subang International Airport's IATA code was changed to SZB.
The airport's site spans 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) 2, of former agricultural land and is one of the world's largest airport sites. An ambitious three-phase development plan anticipates KLIA to have five runways and two terminals each with two satellite terminals. Phase One involved the construction of the main terminal and one satellite terminal, giving a capacity of 25 million passengers, and two full service runways. The Phase One airport had sixty contact piers, twenty remote parking bays with eighty aircraft parking positions, four maintenance hangars and fire stations. Phase Two, designed to increase capacity to 35 million passengers per year is largely complete. Phase Three is anticipated to increase capacity to 100 million passengers per year.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport was officially inaugurated by the 10th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Ja'afar of Negeri Sembilan, on 27 June 1998 at 20:30 MST, a week ahead of Hong Kong International Airport and in time for the 1998 Commonwealth Games. The first domestic arrival was Malaysia Airlines flight MH1263 from Kuantan (Kuantan Airport) at 07:10 MST. The first international arrival was Malaysia Airlines flight MH188 from Malé International Airport at 07:30 MST. The first domestic departure was Malaysia Airlines flight MH1432 to Langkawi (Langkawi International Airport) at 07:20 MST; the first international departure was Malaysia Airlines flight MH84 to Beijing (Beijing Capital International Airport) at 09:00 MST.
The inauguration of the airport was marked with problems. Aerobridge and bay allocation systems broke down, queues built up throughout the airport and baggage handling broke down. Bags were lost and there were waits of over five hours. Most of these issues were remedied eventually, though baggage handling system was plagued with problems until it was put up for a complete replacement tender in 2007.
The airport suffered greatly reduced traffic with the general reduction in economic activity brought about by the East Asian financial crisis, SARS, bird flu epidemic (Avian flu), the global financial crisis and the swine flu pandemic. 1998 saw a reduction of passenger numbers as some airlines, including All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Lufthansa (later reinstated) and Northwest Airlines, terminated their loss making services to KLIA. KLIA's first full year of operations in 1999, in its Phase One manifestation (capacity of 25 million passengers per year), saw only 13.2 million passengers. Passenger numbers eventually increased to 21.1 million in 2004 and 23.2 million in 2005 — though short of the originally estimated 25 million passengers per year by 2003.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport has two parallel runways, located 2 kilometers from each other, which are designed for simultaneous take-offs and landings. The first is 4,000 m × 60 m (13,123 ft × 197 ft). The second runway is 4,019 m × 60 m (13,186 ft × 197 ft).
Operations and infrastructure
|Passenger terminal buildings|
|Totals||(current)||(After LCCT Relocation)|
|Floor area||514,694 m2||692,627 m²|
|Handling capacity||40 million passengers||70 million passengers|
|Parking bays||46 (aerobridge)
|LCCT Relocation Plan yet to be unveiled|
|Main Terminal Building 1 & Contact Pier|
|Opened||27 June 1998 (operational)|
|Floor area||336,000 m2|
|Handling capacity||5 million passengers per annum|
|Parking bays||20 (aerobridge)
|Satellite Terminal A|
|Opened||27 June 1998 (operational)|
|Floor area||143,404 m2|
|Handling capacity||20 million passengers per annum|
|Parking bays||26 (aerobridge)
|Low Cost Carrier Terminal|
|Opened||23 March 2006 (operational)|
|Floor area||35,290 m2|
|Handling capacity||15 million|
|Opening on||2 May 2014|
|Floor area||242,000 m2|
|Handling capacity||45 million|
|Bunga Raya Complex|
|Opened||27 June 1998 (official)|
KLIA features a number of modern design features that assist in efficient operation of the airport. It is one of the first Asia Pacific airports to become 100% Bar Coded Boarding Pass capable. AirAsia, a Malaysian passenger airline; MASkargo, a cargo airline; and Malaysia Airports, the Malaysian Airports operator and manager; are headquartered on the property of KLIA. Malaysia Airlines operates its Flight Management Building at KLIA.
The Passenger Terminal Complex (PTC) was built with an emphasis on allowing natural light into the building. Thus, there is a huge expanse of glass throughout the building, and the spectacular roof has cut-outs for natural light to filter in. The PTC comprises three buildings – the Main Terminal Building, the Satellite Building and the Contact Pier. Besides the 80-room hotel at the Satellite Building, there is a 450-room 5-star Pan Pacific KLIA hotel a 10-minute (indoor) walk away. Shopping spots are available in an area encompassing 85,000 square metres. Currently, the retail space at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport stands at 67,000 square metres (720,000 sq ft). The airport operator plans to increase the retail space to 105,300 square metres (1,133,000 sq ft), an 62.2% increase in retail space.
As there are international flights operating out from the airport, therefore terminals of the airport are equipped with immigration processing facilities and security scanning for all passengers including domestic passengers. The Satellite terminal handles most of the international flights, while the main terminal building's contact pier handles domestic traffic, regional international flights and international flights routed to other hubs within Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operate from both terminals, where main terminal building's contact pier is their preferred terminal for domestic flights. Conversely, low cost carriers such as AirAsia Group of Airlines, Tigerairand Cebu Pacific operates domestic and international flights out of the low cost carrier terminal.
The initial passenger growth was below average due to Asian Financial Crisis and the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003 and the airport failed to reach its target capacity of 25 million passengers per annum (before the inclusion of low cost carrier terminal) by 2004. However, the recovery of Malaysia's economy boosted Kuala Lumpur International Airport's passenger movements, and the airport saw significant growth in traffic, hitting the 25 million passenger mark in 2007. In January 2008, the airport saw a growth of 8.3% in aircraft movements and 7.7% in passenger traffic to 2.17 million in January 2008 from 2.02 million in the same period last year.
Main terminal building and contact pier
The Main terminal building or Terminal 1 is located in between the two runways. The floor area of the terminal covers 390,000 m2 (4,200,000 sq ft) and the building consists of 39 square roof units, which enables future expansion of the building. There are a total of 216 check-in counters, located in 6 different islands, identified by the letters A – M (excluding I). Multi check-in services are available, designed for the use of all passengers arriving, departing or in transit. On 2 February 2007, Malaysia Airports introduces 12 integrated self check-in kiosks (CUSS) for passengers. The first airline to use that system is KLM. A further 24 kiosks will be added later by the airport operator
The contact pier is the rectangular-shaped terminal that is connected to the Main Terminal Building. It serves as the domestic terminal for Malaysia Airlines. Some international flights are handled there as well. Previously it used to cater to low-cost carriers' passengers. At the north side of the pier, it can only accommodate narrow-bodied aircraft. In contrast, the south side of the contact pier can accommodate Boeing 737 and Boeing 747 or similar sized aircraft.
There were plans to increase and maximize the Main Terminal Building's and Contact Pier's retail area however, the plan was postponed due to Visit Malaysia Year 2007.
The gates in Main Terminal Building's contact pier has alphabet prefix of A and B for domestic flights, which is accessible from domestic departures on Level 3 where passengers descend after security check, and G and H for international flights. Basically Gates G & H are sharing the same boarding lounge as Gates A & B, where after boarding and secondary security check (before boarding aircraft)passengers descend into the same boarding lounge with the doors for "A & B" on level 3 sealed off for international flights. For domestic flights, the stairs to access "G & H" are sealed off instead.
Satellite terminal A
The 176,000 square metres (1,890,000 sq ft) satellite building accommodates international flights departing and arriving at KLIA. Passengers have to travel to the satellite building via the Aerotrain. There is a wide array of duty-free shops and prestige brand boutiques in the satellite building. This includes international brands such as Burberry, Harrods, Montblanc, Salvatore Ferragamo and recently, Mango has opened its first boutique at an airport in the Asian region. Among all international labels available within the terminal, some boutiques such as Harrods are only available in the airport. A number of restaurants and international airlines' lounges are available as well as an Airside Transit Hotel.
Within the terminal, wireless internet (Wifi) is provided free of charge. The terminal also has prayer rooms, showers and massage service. Various lounge areas are provided, some including children's play areas and movie lounge, broadcasting movie and sport channels. The terminal also features a natural rainforest in the middle of the terminal, exhibiting the Malaysian forests.
Under Malaysia Airports Berhad retail optimisation plan, the retail space in satellite terminal A will be further optimized to increase its revenue derived from commercial space rental and a percentage of sale receipts to 50% by year 2010 which currently stands at 35%. Some notable improvements that will be seen after the refurbishments will be the Jungle Boardwalk which will be the first of its kind in the world and larger mezzanine floor to accommodate F&B outlets and viewing galleries.
The gates in Satellite Terminal A have the prefix C.The Satellite A terminal has 27 boarding gates altogether.
Low cost carrier terminal (LCCT)
The Low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) was opened at Kuala Lumpur International Airport to cater for the growing number of users of low cost airlines, especially the passengers of Malaysia's "no-frills" airline, AirAsia.
Prior to its operation as a terminal for low cost airlines, the LCCT was used for cargo purposes.
The 36,000 square metres (390,000 sq ft) terminal is designed and built to suit the low cost carrier business model that requires only basic terminal amenities. As requested by the low cost airline, the terminal does not provide aerobridges. Nor are there transfer facilities like those found at the main terminal. As there is no rail link with the main terminal, passengers who need to make transfers need to clear immigration, collect their luggage, clear customs, make their way to the main terminal and re-checkin with their respective airline.
LCCT is located on the opposite side of the apron from the Main Terminal Building, near the air cargo area. LCCT is about 2 km from the Main Terminal Building in direct distance, but by road is about 16 km.
The current Low Cost Carrier Terminal is a temporary solution for the increasing demand of no-frills airline passengers. Therefore, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad has plans to build a new permanent LCC terminal which can accommodate 45 million passengers per year. In the meantime, the airport operator decided to expand the current terminal to keep up with the increasing demand. The new arrival hall was first open on 15 December 2008. This airport was the first airport to have separation between normal carriers and low cost carrier.
The terminal is due to be replaced by a new low cost carrier terminal, klia2, whose opening has been postponed several times due to various reasons. The current expected opening date for KLIA2 is May 2014 but in December 2013, there were reports that the official opening date was likely to be postponed yet again, despite construction already nearing completion.
The gates in LCCT have letter prefix of P for domestic departures and T for international departures. However this is not always followed depending on aircraft parking position and there are temporary immigration booths in domestic departure gates.
KL City Air Terminal
KL City Air Terminal, sometimes known as Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal or KL CAT located at KL Sentral is a virtual extension of KL International Airport where city check-in services are provided. KL City Air Terminal is recognized by International Air Transport Association which carries IATA designation XKL. Currently there are only 5 airlines providing city check-in services, they are Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Royal Brunei Airlines. However, the situation is due to be changed as 10 SITA's AirportConnect CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) were installed on 10 check-in desks in KL CAT that enables all airlines to offer city check-in service for their passengers. Apart from providing check-in services, the virtual terminal operator, Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd which operates KLIA Express is planning to roll out baggage check-out service in January 2008 whereby passengers only collect their baggage and declare taxable items in Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal.
Airlines and destinations
^Note 3 Malaysia Airlines regional/international flights using narrow body aircraft depart from Main Terminal Gates G/H which is actually the upper floor of Gates A/B after immigration. However this was revised when equipment in different dates are varies and change by time to time.
|Cargolux||Baku, Chennai, Luxembourg, Singapore|
|China Airlines Cargo||Chennai, Luxembourg, Penang, Taipei-Taoyuan|
|FedEx Express||Cebu, Guangzhou, Penang, Singapore, Tokyo-Narita|
|Hong Kong Airlines||Hong Kong|
|Korean Air Cargo||Seoul-Incheon, Penang|
|MASkargo||Amsterdam, Baku, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chennai, Colombo-Bandaranaike, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Labuan, Manila, Medan, Penang, Shanghai-Pudong, Sharjah, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita|
|Transmile Air Services||Anchorage, Bangalore, Chennai, Hong Kong, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Luik, Malmo, Manila, Medan, Mumbai, Nagoya, Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Riverside, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen, Singapore, Tokyo-Narita, Taipei-Taoyuan|
|UPS Airlines||Shenzhen, Osaka, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Manila, Bangkok, Mumbai, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Louisville, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, Vancouver, Toronto|
Annual passenger numbers
|Year||Passenger movements||Aircraft movements||Cargo handled (tonnes)|
Busiest International Routes
|Rank||Airport||Passengers handled||% Change
2012 / 13
|7||Ho Chi Minh City||879,394||19.9|
|30||Bandar Seri Begawan||358,119||15.3|
|31||Paris-Charles de Gaulle||344,910||103.3|
The main terminal and its satellite are well connected by an automated people mover (called Aerotrain). Each 250-person capacity train can transport 3,000 passengers per hour in each direction at up to 56 km/h (35 mph). These three-car driverless trains run every five minutes on elevated rail and under the taxiways. The journey takes under two minutes. The Aerotrain is completely automated and shuttles passengers between the main terminal building and satellite building. There are many benefits that the Aerotrain offers such as the short journey time, simplicity and fail-safe operation, and resistance against breakdown. The train system uses pneumatic rubber-typed wheels to provide comfort for the passengers riding on the train. The Tracked Transit System (TTS) connects to two stations. One station is in the center of the contact pier’s International level and one that is close to the center of the satellite terminal’s departure/arrival level. The TTS transports passengers over an elevated guideway that is 4,219 feet. It travels under the taxiways between the main terminal and satellite buildings. The Aerotrain operates between three to five-minute intervals between terminal buildings. The total round trip time takes five minutes and five seconds with a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour. There are two three-car trains that are able to handle 5,805 passengers per hour each direction. Each train-car has a maximum capacity of 83 passengers. Automatic train control manages the operation of the entire Aerotrain system. They are in control of vehicle speeds, headways, stops and door opening in stations. They are able to integrate all functions that enhance the reliability and performance of the systems
Between LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) to KLIA (Main Terminal Building)
There is no "air-side" transit between the LCCT and the Main Terminal Building. All passengers have to clear Immigration and Customs upon arrival at the LCCT before proceeding to the Main Terminal Building to re-check in for flights and vice versa.
This bus awaits passengers at the 3rd taxi lane from the terminal, not with the other buses.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is served by two direct rail services, namely KLIA Express and KLIA Transit. The KLIA Express provides a non-stop express train service to/from KL City Air Terminal (KL CAT) which has an IATA designation XKL. It is a part of KL Sentral transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur. The non-stop trip between KL Sentral and KLIA is 57 kilometers long and the journey takes exactly 28 minutes. Passengers who want to use this service and are departing from Kuala Lumpur International Airport with the following airlines can use the in-city check-in facilities installed at KL City Air Terminal (KL CAT), provided that the check-in process is done at least 2 hours before flight departure time.
Whereas, KLIA Transit provides a commuter train service between KL Sentral and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport ERL station. This service shares the same tracks with KLIA Express but making stops at three intermediate stations along the journey namely Bandar Tasik Selatan station, Putrajaya/Cyberjaya ERL station and Salak Tinggi ERL station. Check-in facilities are not available at all KLIA Transit stations. Passengers to/from Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) can use KLIA Transit service by boarding the provided shuttle bus at Salak Tinggi ERL station.
Taxis and limousine
Airport taxis or airport limousines are provided by Airport Limo. The taxis and limousines are readily available at the Taxi and Limousine counters. They run from airport itself to destinations in Klang Valley and Greater Klang Valley. The fares are to be paid at the counter and are charged according to the destinations' zone. A surcharge is applied for services between 12 am to 5 am
Both public and private buses connect KLIA to several points in Kuala Lumpur and beyond.
Expansion and developments
Under the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport Masterplan, a new runway and a new satellite building will be constructed to accommodate the increasing number of passengers. The airport Phase 2 development plan is to handle 40 million (5 Million) passengers per year by 2008 with the expansion of low cost carrier terminal. For phase 3, the airport will expand to handle 75 million (35 million) passengers per annum with the construction of a new satellite terminal and replacement of current low cost carrier terminal with a new low cost carrier terminal that will be capable of handling 30 million passengers alone. Under Phase 4, the airport will be capable to handle 97.5 million passengers per annum by 2020.
With the slight modification of the masterplan, the future Terminal 2's satellite terminal will be combined into one satellite terminal. The expansion of Terminal 2's satellite terminal will be exactly the same as Terminal 1's satellite terminal, where initially the satellite terminal will have four arms, and another four arms when the terminal reached its capacity. There is sufficient land and capacity to develop facilities to handle up to 97.5 million passengers a year, four runways by the year 2020 and two mega-terminals, each linked with satellite terminals. The airport's vicinity will include hiking trails for jet-lagged travelers, golf courses, convention center, a theme park, a shopping center, hotels, and a wetlands nature preserve. Sepang International Circuit, which hosts Formula One, A1 Grand Prix, Super GT, IndyCar Series and MotoGP races, is also nearby. There has also been a proposal for a monorail link to the F1 circuit. The development plan is due to be ready by April 2008.
|Summary of Kuala Lumpur International Airport Masterplan|
|Phase 1||1998||Initial Capacity of 25 million Passenger Per Annum|
|2006||Capable of Handling 35 million Passengers per annum with the construction of Low Cost Carrier Terminal|
|Phase 2||2008||Expansion of Low Cost Carrier Terminal to accommodate 40 Million Passengers per annum.|
|Phase 3||2011||New Low Cost Carrier Terminal will be constructed to accommodate additional 30 million (55 million) passengers Per Annum, Current Low Cost Carrier Terminal converted to cargo usage.|
|Not fixed||Satellite Terminal B will be constructed to handle maximum of 75 million passengers. (One terminal accompanied by 2 satellite terminal and one low cost carrier terminal)|
|Phase 4||Not fixed||Terminal 2 and Satellite Terminal C will be constructed so that the airport is capable to handle 97.5 million passengers.|
Temporary Low Cost Carrier Terminal
With an increasing number of passengers using the 'Low Cost Carrier Terminal '(LCCT), MAHB approved an expansion beginning early 2007 to accommodate more passengers as the current LCCT is nearly at full capacity. The expansion of LCCT also shows the support for launch of Malaysia's first long haul low cost carrier, AirAsia X by making the terminal able to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft that are used by AirAsia X However, the Low Cost Carrier Terminal is a temporary solution for budget travellers, MAHB submitted a proposal to the Transport Ministry to build a new, permanent LCC hub in between the main terminal building and satellite building A to replace the present Low Cost Carrier terminal.
The airport operator has announced that the construction works for the extension of LCCT will begin in March 2008 and expected to complete by December 2008. The capacity for the LCCT will increase from 10 million passengers a year to 15 million passengers a year. A proposal for a more permanent building to house a new LCCT has been submitted and expected to have a capacity for 30 million passengers a year. It is also expected that the new LCCT will be completed by April 2012. It is expected that the current LCCT will be converted into a cargo hub once the new terminal is completed. The RM124 million LCCT expansion project tender was won by Fajarbaru Builder Group Bhd and construction work is expected to begin March 2008. The new international arrival hall was opened on 15 December 2008 with expectation that the rest of the wing will be fully operational by March 2009. The international departure hall was finally open on 18 March 2009 which expanded the handling capacity from 600 passengers at one time to 3200 passengers.
KLIA2 is the latest extension of KLIA and will replace the current low cost carrier terminal. Despite original plans to locate the new terminal north of the main KLIA terminal (KLIA North) it is currently under construction at KLIA West. Completion of the terminal has been revised four times, with the original date set at April 2010. The third opening date was announced by Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, who requested the new terminal be opened on June 28, 2013 to coincide with the opening date of the main terminal, June 28, 1998. The current opening date for KLIA2 is set at May 2, 2014, but as at December 2013 press reported that the opening is likely to be delayed yet again, despite construction nearing completion.
When the terminal is completed KLIA2 will be the largest low cost carrier terminal in the South East Asian region with a total area of 257,000 square meters. There will be a total of 68 aircraft parking bays with departure gates for each parking bay, allowing the new terminal to cater up to 35 million passengers annually. There will also be a third runaway which is located 2.2 km from the second runaway. An extension of the Express Rail Link to klia2 is under construction and is expected to open at the same time as the terminal. It involves a 2.14 km line extension.
On 15 July 2010, it was announced that Bina Puri with partner UEM Construction has won the tender to build the terminal for MYR 997.23 million. Construction works is expected to complete within 20 months.
The operator of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad, had spent about RM135 million (approx US$39 million) to upgrade facilities at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang to accommodate the Airbus A380. Upgrading works started on 3 April 2006, and was completed by 28 May 2007. Works include the provision of shoulders on both sides of the two existing runways of 15 meters as well as the taxiways, building additional aerobridges at the three departure halls, namely C17, C27 and C37, and enhancing the mezzanine lounges for upper deck passengers of the aircraft at the departure halls. Emirates operates flights to Kuala Lumpur with the Airbus A380 commenced on 1 January 2012. Malaysia Airlines also started its A380 services from Kuala Lumpur to London on 1 July 2012.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.|
- Official website
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport Real Time Flight Schedule
- KLIA Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Terminal Website
- KLIA Info Pages