Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi wants Ministry of Finance’s collection of departure levy, starting September 2019, to fund aviation development. NSTP photo by NUR ADIBAH AHMAD IZAM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi wants Ministry of Finance’s collection of departure levy, starting September 2019, to fund aviation development.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi concurred with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that money collected from air travellers should go back to develop the aviation industry.

“The collection of departure levy from air passengers would oust Malaysia from the list of the lowest airport charges in the region,” he told the New Straits Times in an interview recently.

The departure levy, depending on passengers’ destinations and flight classes, ranges from RM8 to RM150, takes effect from September 1, 2019.

Nungsari said the equalisation of the passenger service charge (PSC) rate for both terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and the second terminal klia2 is sensible.

“To be honest, there are many facilities at klia2 that are better than the terminal 1 KLIA including the baggage handling system. klia2’s shopping experience and parking are even better.

“But the only problem with klia2 is its size. It is a bigger airport,” he added.

“We have given the air traffic rights that AirAsia had requested. We recognise AirAsia group is the largest carrier in the country. We have facilitated their growth by approving it to fly wherever the low-cost carrier wants to fly.”

“AirAsia is the biggest beneficiary of air traffic rights accorded by MAVCOM,” he said, adding that the commission recognise AirAsia’s operational efficiency including faster turnaround time.

Nungsari said airport development is long term, taking into account integration with railways and highways.

There must be an optimal number of airports in the country and new airport developments should integrate with East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the double tracking railway projects.

“It is important for the aviation sector to evaluate the relevancy of building a new airport. We must also take into account the development of other mode of transportation,” he said.