Penang International Airport
Penang International Airport
Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang
|Owner||Government of Malaysia|
|Serves||Greater Penang, diversion alternate domestic/regional airport for entire Perlis and other parts of Kedah (except Kuala Muda, Bandar Baharu and Kulim) such as Kubang Pasu, Kota Star, Padang Terap, Langkawi, Baling, Pokok Sena, Sik, Pendang and Yan districts|
|Location||Bayan Lepas, 111900 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+08:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||11 ft / 3 m|
Penang state in Malaysia
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. Previously known as the Bayan Lepas International Airport, it was opened in 1935, making it the oldest airport in the country.
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 northwestern 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. The airport is also one of the hubs of the Malaysian low-cost carriers, AirAsia and Firefly.
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.
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. 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.
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). Capacity was expanded to 6.5 million in 2012.
In December 2019, MAHB announced a RM800 million expansion plan for the airport, with work on 4 phases starting in March 2020 and to be completed by 2024. This would raise the capacity of the airport from 6.5 million passengers yearly, to 12 million a year. This compares with actual passenger numbers of 9.5 million. However, in May 2020, Chief Minister of Penang Chow Kon Yeow says the planned expansion of the airport might well be by between six months to a year due as a result of the Covid-19.
On 5 April 2020, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that all international flights into Penang had ceased, although domestic flights continued.
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. 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. In 2017, the federal authorities finally announced plans to expand the airport to accommodate 12 million passengers per year by 2029.
Airlines and destinations
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. As of 2017[update], the airport posted a record 7.23 million tourist arrivals.
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.
|Source: Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad|
|1||Singapore, Singapore||97||3K, AK, MI, TR, OD, EK|
|2||Medan, Indonesia||57||AK, JT, SJ, QZ|
|3||Jakarta, Indonesia||21||XT, QG|
|4||Bangkok–Don Mueang, Thailand (DMK)||14||FD|
|7||Taipei, Taiwan||14||CI, JX|
|8||Hong Kong, China||11||KA|
|9||Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Thailand (BKK)||10||WE|
|10||Banda Aceh, Indonesia||7||FY, OD|
|12||Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam||4||AK|
|13||Hat Yai, Thailand||4||OD|
|1||Subang, Selangor (SZB)||170||FY, OD|
|2||Kuala Lumpur (KLIA)||157||AK, MH, OD|
|3||Johor Bharu, Johor||45||AK|
|4||Langkawi, Kedah||39||AK, FY, QR|
|5||Kota Kinabalu, Sabah||14||AK|
|7||Kota Bharu, Kelantan||14||FY|
|8||Melaka, Melaka||14||OD, AK|
|Source: Immigration Department of Malaysia|
- 1 Jan 2020: A bush fire near the airport put authorities on alert, but flights were not delayed by the incident.
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- hermesauto (2 January 2020). "Passengers panic over bush fire near Penang airport". The Straits Times. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Penang International Airport.|
- Penang International Airport at Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
- Current weather for WMKP at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for PEN at Aviation Safety Network
- Penang Sentral global website