Jul 03, 2013

    Doubts over KL budget terminal's completion

    A HUGE sign on the control tower of Malaysia's budget terminal in Sepang, dubbed KLIA2, proudly proclaims that it was constructed "in 10 months". However, the contractors apparently forgot about the rest of the project.

    The completion of the airport has been delayed five times and many doubt that the contractors can meet the new opening date of May 2 next year.

    A team from The Star which spent a week at the site found good reason for the scepticism.

    Among the features yet to be completed is a 300m skybridge for pedestrians, the first of its kind in Asia.

    Contrary to claims that construction had been speeded up and was going on round the clock and seven days a week, the team found that work was actually being done at a normal pace. It found that the pace was even slower on weekends, with hardly any movement of machinery and few workers at the site.

    The construction of the main terminal of the building appeared to be only about 60 per cent completed. The internal roads linking the main terminal to the other parts of the airport have yet to be built.

    However, the team found that several key features of the airport had already been completed.

    Among them are the KLIA2's control tower and the two ramps linking the airport to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport extension highway.

    According to an inside source, the work on the project was now taking shape at a faster rate than it was a few months ago.

    An international expert from the construction industry said the airport could be completed by April 30 next year only if work was carried out at a much more rapid pace.

    "Intensity is the key to the completion of the project," he said. "From outside, the terminal building looks very raw. However, a lot of things can be done in 10 months, provided the remaining work is carried out with greater intensity."