Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) is set to proceed with plans for the expansion of Penang International Airport after securing approval from the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

MAHB’s statement comes in response to a news report titled ‘Operating issue an obstacle to private initiative for airports’, which quoted Penang Chief Minister YAB Chow Kon Yeow as saying that certain issues have hindered the progress of the airport expansion.

In response to this statement, MAHB group CEO Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said that the approval will allow it to immediately proceed with the expansion plans in phases.

MAHB said in a statement: “Malaysia Airports, for the last two years, has been working on this expansion project and had brought in consultants to draw up the detailed construction plans after the necessary engagement with the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM), and the Penang State Government, including the Chief Minister himself.”

Plans for the airport expansion are ready to be submitted by the end of this month to secure the ‘Kelulusan Merancang’ from Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP).

The company is currently holding discussions with various parties with regards to the options for investment and funding models.

Furthermore, an application for MAHB to fully fund the project under the proposed MAVCOM Regulated Asset Base (RAB) framework has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of next year, once the necessary plans are in place.