MAHB gets Putrajaya's 'approval in principle' on OA's revenue sharing terms

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SEPANG (June 29): The government has given its 'approval in principle' to revenue sharing terms in managing airports under the new operating agreement (OA) with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), according to the airport operator's acting managing director Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin.

At a press conference after the celebration of KLIA's 20th anniversary today, Raja Azmi said MAHB and the government are still working on finalising the terms under the new OA, and he will engage with the Ministry of Transport to facilitate the progress.

"At the moment, the operating agreement stated revenue sharing increases a quarter basis point or 0.25% per year. It is still applicable until such time when we finalise the terms of the new operating agreement, which at the moment we got the approval in principle, so we are still working on it," he said, adding that the current revenue sharing rate is at about '11% plus'.

"When I start to engage the ministry, then I will be able to give you a bit more definitive positions until then," he said.

In an interview with local media earlier this month, MAHB's former managing director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the group is proposing a lower revenue sharing rate with the government for non-aeronautical revenue to fund airport infrastructure development.

Badlisham had relinquished his position after his contract expired on June 22 this year, when he was succeeded by Raja Azmi, who was then MAHB's chief financial officer.

Meanwhile, commenting on Transport Minister Anthony Loke's recent revelation that there was an application to the Ministry under the previous government to build a third airport in Sepang, Raja Azmi today said both terminals in KLIA had excess capacity to cater for passenger growth over the next two years.

"From my perspective, by looking at what we have now... our KLIA terminals are able to accommodate 75 million passengers per year, with the combined capacity [of] KLIA and Klia2, and last year we [had] 58 million passengers. So from our perspective, we have actually some room to accommodate passengers for the next two years," he said.

Yesterday, Loke also said if the applicant for the third airport — Citaglobal Airports Sdn Bhd — intended to build the said airport, the company have to resubmit its application for the Ministry to evaluate.

Earlier at the celebration, Raja Azmi said KLIA, which began its commercial operation on June 30, 1998, saw 13 million passengers passed through its terminal in the first year of operation, the volume grow to 58.6 million in 2017.

Even with the recent change in management, Raja Azmi said MAHB will continue its ongoing initiatives as usual.

"Basically the business operation is moving on as usual, all our strategic initiatives, be it airport expansion, Aeropolis, and whatever we are currently doing, [they are] ongoing, and we will of course evaluate all the investments according to their returns and commercial viability for the company," he said.

MAHB's share price was trading at RM8.71 at market break, up one sen or 0.12%, giving it a market capitalisation of RM14.55 billion.