Why was KLIA2 moved to soft soil site?

December 15, 2011

Why was KLIA2 moved to soft soil site?

by Aidila Razak@http://www.malaysiakini.com

Why was a new masterplan drawn up in 2008 for the expansion of the low-cost carrier airport (KLIA2), resulting in the airport being built on soft soil, when an earlier plan circumvented this problem?

This question lies at the heart of the current outcry over the ballooning cost of the airport from an estimated RM1.7 billion to up to RM3.6 billion today.

tony pua pc on klia2 issue 141211 01Referring to the KL International Airport Masterplan 1992, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua (left) said today the move also remained the main cause of the construction deadline for KLIA2 to be extended from September 2011 to April 2013.

“The transport minister and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd must answer why they made a hard-to-fathom move to the new site. This is the reason the cost went up by more than RM2 billion,” Pua said.

tony pua pc on klia2 issue 141211 slide 02According to the 1992 plan, the current construction site of KLIA2 “mainly comprises saturated marine clay with an overlay of peat material, which varies in thickness from two to three metres”.

“It has poor load bearing qualities and is not suitable for airport construction without undertaking significant engineering measures… which include improved drainage, removal of the peat layer and the introduction of fill material with good load bearing qualities (a minimum of three metres deep),” Pua said, quoting from the report.

tony pua pc on klia2 issue 141211 slide 01The earthworks required to make the site suitable, he said, cost an estimated RM1.2 billion. This could have been saved if the 1992 masterplan, drawn up by Anglo-Japanese Airport Corporation Bhd, had been followed and the KLIA2 had been built on the original hard land area marked out.

The area marked out in the 1992 plan is a hilly area, which had already been prepared during the construction of the main terminal (KLIA) at the time.

Double watch towers and extra runway

The 2008 plan, drawn up by Netherlands Airport Consultants BV and KLIA Consultancy Services, led to further consequences on costs:

  • A third runway, estimated to cost RM270 million, has to be constructed as the new site would not allow KLIA and KLIA2 to share two runways. However, the third runway will also need to be built on soft soil, raising questions as to when it will be ready.

“Airlines would not want to move to KLIA2 if they have to taxi longer in order to use KLIA’s runways,” Pua said.

  • A second control tower, estimated to cost RM500 million, needs to be constructed as KLIA’s tower would not be able to see some parts of the third runway. The 1992 plan had both terminals sharing the same tower.

“This would make it the first modern airport, built after the 1960s, with two control towers within two kilometres of each other,” Pua said.

tony pua pc on klia2 issue 141211 reportsWhile conceding that he was not an expert in the field, Pua said an engineering expert who was consulted had said the deadline of April 2013 was “iffy” at best, mainly due to the poor soil.

In comparison, he said, the current low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) had cost RM232 million and had taken about 15 months to construct, including upgrades.

“Of course it’s not fair as (KLIA2) would have a third runway, etc, but it gives a comparison of contrast in cost from the new airport and the current terminal. The current one was built in budget fashion, the new one is as good as a premium terminal.

“We are not disputing the need to move to a bigger terminal as the LCCT is close to capacity. Nor do we mind shifting the location, but not at such a ballooning cost,” Pua said. LCCT currently caters to 15.4 million passengers, 400,000 more than its capacity.

9 thoughts on “Why was KLIA2 moved to soft soil site?

  1. The project is undertaken to satisfy the insatiable needs of big ego Tony Fernandes. It is time that he should be brought to account for this stupidity, no matter who his political masters are. There is no other way to deal with this man who, as the Malays say, “tak sedar diri”.–Din Merican

  2. It’s not difficult to make him tow the line. The problem is the higher-ups are in cahoot with him. He’s enjoying the perks along with his mentors. That’s the root cause.

  3. The problem just doesn’t lie with Fernandez. He just wants a bigger horse barn, so MAHB should just build him a bigger horse barn. The problem also lies with MAHB. MAHB should work with its clients. Who are MAHB clients, Who will occupy the KLIA2. What do these clients want? Do they want the whole works, bells and whistle or just a horse barn.

    MAHB must also work according to earlier plans and build on land already surveyed and levelled ready to pour concrete and build the terminal. Notice the piece of land directly opposite Terminal C. The rail line is already there and the land is already graded. Why must MAHB build elsewhere?

    Easy access to taxiway and runway is important. Don’t make the airlines drive the planes 30 minutes just to get to taxiway or runway. How much fuel being burnt just to taxi to runway. Build the third runway closer so ATC can direct planes to land on either runway. Cut down taxiing time and queue for takeoff and airlines can cut cost.

    As usual MAHB is trying to build mega cost terminals, more profit and more moolahs to divvy up between the parties. Build on poor soil so soil contractors can make some more profit. Poor soil will need treatment or upgrading. More money. This is after a Money Game nothing more nothing less.

  4. See how easy to make money in Bolehland. Just create something and presto, you have a reason to place your hands in the coffers. This bunch of thieves should be shown the doors. For minnows like us we have nothing to show. Even Sharizat’s lembus won’t come near us.

  5. Soft in the head all these idiots, but not so soft to see the opportunity for serious, spontaneous yet spurious wealth creation/generation.
    I agree with Semper about the terminal ‘D’ and Tok Cik about the absolute need for money out of swampy thoughts.

    The MAHB soft shelled turtles should be the target for this fiasco. Their speed of response is glacial like all reptiles in inclement weather.

    Otoh, TF barks, but has no bite. He only bullies lil’ mongrel puppies like me, who flies AA not only to save (no frills, ‘cuz i’m stoic); but also to places that MAS doesn’t fly directly to. However, all the noise might cause them goons to transect his vocal cords first and subsequently euthanize, if all that prancing around doesn’t stop.

  6. …as in almost all mega projects from airports to new town ship to istana initiated, built or $upported by the bn govt lah. Why am I not surprised by $uch ballooning of co$t? Co$t that will some how, somewhere, someday be charged back to all of us…

  7. In the end, I ask, what is the role of the Minister of Transport and his ministry in the project? Hope it is not another rip off like PKFZ . Note that the Minister of Transport is from MCA.–Din Merican

  8. Allaaa Abg Pua,takkan you tak tahu,cost naik so more people can benefit,pure n simple,what you n the rakyat think,they don’t give 2 hoots,it’s when we Vote then they will know where they will end up,sooner than later,we will imprisoned them on our island colony somewhere off the coast of Trengganu,like we did earlier to those early 70’s boat people,there ,they can planned all they want,convened their own parliament,ecetera3

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