Occasional congestion caused by lack of manpower resources by airlines
SEPANG – There are currently sufficient facilities including ample check-in counters provided by Malaysia Airports at Penang International Airport (IATA Code: PEN) to ensure a seamless experience for passengers.
According to PEN Senior Airport Manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim, “PEN has a total of 61 check-in counters and out of these, more than 30 are dedicated to the local airlines operating there. However, our daily observation shows that not all are manned, even during the daily peak period between 11 am to 1 pm. Usually only about 70% is being utilised due to insufficient manpower resources by the airlines. No doubt, this can lead to long queues at the airport.”
Nadzim reiterated that airlines also need to do their part in catering to the comfort and convenience of the passengers by ensuring that there are enough airline staff on the ground to facilitate the check-in process. Not only that, they must also ensure that their facilities such as self-check-in kiosks and self-baggage drop (SBD) are in operation all the time as facilities such as these will help reduce the long queues at the counters.
“Checks in the last two days have shown that at least two of the self-check-in kiosks provided by the airlines are not operational and in fact, some SBD counters have also been used as manual counters due to lack of staff to guide passengers on how to use the SBD facility,” he added. Nadzim also mentioned that the airport management is constantly working closely with other stakeholders to implement initiatives that will improve airport experience. For example, the relocation of arrival immigration counters was recently completed on 15 July 2019 to provide a larger area for immigration clearance.
As announced before, Malaysia Airports has completed the planning to upgrade PEN and received the necessary approval from the government to proceed with the project. The plans have now been submitted to Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang to obtain the required Development Order approval. Upon receiving the approval, Malaysia Airports will be ready to undertake and fund the expansion as proposed in the MAVCOM Regulated Asset Base framework. Construction work is expected to start in the first quarter of 2020 and the first phase of the expansion up to a capacity of 12 million passengers per annum (mppa) will take three years to complete.