Thursday, June 23, 2016

“KLIA2”, “LCCT2” or “Sepang LCCT2”? Liow Tiong Lai not answering AirAsia’s concern.

Media statement by DAP ADUN for Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San on 23rd June 2016 in Petaling Jaya:

I read with concern on a statement from AirAsia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aireen Omar dated 21st June that the group would embark on a rebranding campaign to rename KLIA2 terminal to LCCT2.

Yesterday, Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai rebutted her that such request is “inaccurate, impractical and unnecessary”, citing the reason that the airport is already registed with the official code “KUL”. (The current IATA code for KLIA is “KUL”)

It is clear that the Minister has misinterpreted the proposal from Aireen Omar as what AirAsia proposes is a commercial exercise to rename KLIA2 as LCCT2. Aireen Omar has never stated that the aviation group is planning to change the airport code name with International Air Transport Association (IATA) or International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

While I have no question whatsoever on AirAsia’s proposal on the name change, the subject matter has sparked some debate on the rightful name of the two airports, namely KLIA and KLIA2 (or LCCT2), the authority must not again confuse foreigners with the word “Kuala Lumpur” when the airports are indeed located in Sepang, some 60km away from Kuala Lumpur.

I am sure that officers from the Ministry of Transport and MAHB are aware about the Selangor State Legislative Assembly Debate on 31st March 2016, that the Selangor State Government has the intention to convert the name of “Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)” to “Sepang International Airport” as the international airport is not located within the Federal Capital. Instead, it is located right in the heart of Sepang District, Selangor.

Liow Tiong Lai’s argument does not hold water as there are many renowned airports in the world named after the name of the place they are constructed without changing their official codes with IATA or ICAO.

For example, the international airport in Singapore is not named as “Singapore International Airport” but “Changi International Airport” but the airport’s official IATA code is “SIN”. The same goes to London Heathrow International Airport instead of “London International Airport” but it remains its official code of “LHR”.

Such exercise is deemed necessary. Using the name “Sepang” will give international fame to the local name of “Sepang”. The Federal Government should and must recognise the existence and the role of the Selangor State government in bringing foreign investments.

Lau Weng San                                                  

ADUN Kampung Tunku

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