A corporate leader with diverse experience, he is harnessing the latest technological advances to spur Malaysia Airports to greater heights as a smart aviation regional hub.
This month, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh shares the ever readiness of its network of airports in Malaysia for the reopening of international borders following the successful take-off of
the country’s first travel bubble pilot project in Langkawi. Moving forward into the last quarter of 2021, the airport operator is optimistic of improved passenger and cargo traffic movements, including at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA), especially with the ramping up of Covid-19 vaccinations and its latest strategic partnership with Maxis Bhd for the co-creation of Malaysia’s first 5G digital airport.
With the majority of Malaysian states and territories progressing between phase two and three of the country’s National Recovery Plan, I would like to stress that all our airports nationwide are ready for full swing operation and raring to go to facilitate in the recovery of domestic tourism and travel. In fact, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic Iast year, we have not closed any of our airports except for Melaka Airport due to zero flights. We expect domestic air traffic to gain traction once 70% to 80% of Malaysia’s population have been fully vaccinated while at Malaysia Airports, our target was to achieve full vaccination by end-September.
At Langkawi International Airport, we welcome the strong support from our local carriers, namely Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, AirAsia and Firefly in Langkawi’s reopening on Malaysia Day (16 September) as a travel bubble for fully vaccinated domestic travellers. I believe all these concerted efforts resulting in improved passenger and aircraft traffic movements will lend tremendous value to help resuscitate our aviation and tourism industries, which have been adversely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The positive outlook for countries with high vaccine rollouts such as Malaysia and Turkey have witnessed an increase in air travel. On this note, we are cautiously optimistic that
our group performance for the fourth quarter will be better than the previous quarter. The continued recovery of passenger traffic from ISGIA based on our latest data reveals growth of almost 71% growth to 3.2 million over August 2020, thanks to leisure travel during the summer holidays and acceptance of both the European Union Digital Covid Certificate and Turkish Covid-19 certificate. Of the total, 1.1 million came from international passengers, which exceeded the one million mark for the first time since March 2020 while the balance of over two million domestic passengers was close to 90% of the volume handled in August 2019.
Apart from ISGIA’s state-of-art Xovis PTS passenger flow management system to help reduce wait time and monitor physical distancing, as part of our group wide Airports 4.0 initiatives, we have also rolled out the Automated Queue Management System that leverages 0n 3D sensor technology to manage and reduce passenger wait times to under 10 minutes earlier this year at the KL International Airport. You can expect more technological advances and refreshing terminal concepts to ensure seamless passenger journey through digitalisation and innovation to be forthcoming. They include the Digital Experience Showcase area scheduled for completion by end- 2022 and the use of robust technology infrastructure such as 5G gigabit ultra-fast wireless network much as our immediate priority is to ensure the safety of our staff, passengers and airport environment.
We have selected Maxis as our sole telecommunication operator to co-develop a digital transformation roadmap for smart airport operations and manage both Wifi and 5G-related network services and solutions at KLIA’s two terminals. 5G will be the catalyst for connecting us to new business and economic opportunities, strengthening our foundation of new technologies and digitalisation of our airport operations. For our passengers, it means a smart travel experience with smart retail and smart security in mind.