Batu Berendam AirportEdit profile
Malacca International Airport (IATA: MKZ, ICAO: WMKM) (formerly known as Batu Berendam Airport is an airport located in Batu Berendam, Malacca in Malaysia. The Airport serves the city and the state of Melaka, as well as northern Johor.
The airport, which occupies 141 acres (0.57 km2) of land, was built in 1952.
The airport and particularly its control tower bears historical significance as it was the same tower which guided the plane of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, to land from London on 20 February 1956. It was in Malacca that Tunku announced the date for the independence of then Malaya from the United Kingdom. Considering the historical nature of this control tower, the Chief Minister of Malacca, Mohd Ali Rustam is attempting to save the tower, by either relocating it, or by changing plans to incorporate the tower.
Currently, the airport services Riau Airlines, which operates flights from Pekanbaru five times per week. Malacca has become a popular destination for health care and medical tourism from Indonesia, particularly Sumatera. This has greatly increased the passenger influx through the airport, with all three private hospitals in the city operating regular free shuttle-bus services to and from the airport.
The airport is also used as the base of the Malaysian flying academy (MFA), which has been operating out of the airport since 1987. In September 2005, AirAsia announced that it will make Batu Berendam Airport a destination once renovation work has been completed. It is likely that AirAsia will use the airport as a hub to operate flights to Indonesia. It is unlikely that Malaysia Airlines or Airasia would introduce the Kuala Lumpur-Malacca sector because the latter is only 147.5 km away from the country's capital, less than 90 minutes of drive time. The Malacca state government is also in discussion with AirAsia for a proposal to fly to Nanjing, China from Malacca. Firefly also has plans to start a Penang-Malacca route once the expansion of the airport is completed. It will be known as Melaka International Airport. ( recognized by Melaka state government )
In 2008, AirAsia confirmed that it would start operation by December 8 to four destinations in Sumatra and two domestic destinations. They are Pekanbaru, Padang, Palembang and Medan while the domestic destinations are Penang and Langkawi. The runway length will be extended from 1,800 metres to 2,200 metres for safe and comfortable take off for an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 737. It has also planned to fly to Kota Kinabalu, Jakarta and Nanjing.From domestic airport to international airport status ( by Melaka State Government )
The airport had an earth breaking ceremony on April 1, 2006, and is currently undergoing an upgrade, due to be completed by 29 April 2009. The runway is being upgraded from 1372 x 37 meters, to 2045 x 45 meters, allowing Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft to take off. The terminal complex is being replaced by a new 7,000 square-meter terminal equipped with international-standard amenities. The control tower is being replaced and complemented with advanced aeronautical devices. Both ends of the runway will contain facilities to guide night landing and better assure safety in bad weather conditions.
In March 2009, Mohd Ali Rustam announced that the runway extension will be completed by October 2009 after a loan of RM65 million was approved by the Federal Government.
On May 2009, the new terminal was officially opened. The new terminal could handle 1.5 million passengers annually as opposed to the 30,000 of the old terminal. Budget airline Firefly was supposed to be starting flights to Singapore starting September. However, the route was later canceled despite tickets having already been sold. The airport was visited by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on February 2010. In his visit, he officially renamed the airport Malacca International Airport.AirAsia is also said to be considering the route.Airlines and destinations
Traffic and Statistics