Active participation from China sought for Senai Airport

Active participation from China sought for Senai Airport

Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd (SATS) is seeking active
participation from China in its quest to transform Senai into a
regional transport hub.

It was reported that MMC International
Holdings Bhd planned to offer 30% equity in SATS to a company from
China to develop the airport into an aviation hub or a duty-free zone.

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, who controls MMC Corp Bhd, made the
offer during a working visit to the republic in January with a
delegation from MCA.

MMC International is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of MMC Corp, which has interests in Senai International
Airport, Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Johor Port.

the four-day trip, the delegation of party members and businessmen led
by MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, who is also Transport
Minister, met leaders from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and had
business meetings with Chinese corporate leaders.

“We discussed
how Johor and China can work closely in the economic sector,’’ said
SATS deputy chief executive officer Shahrull Allam Abdul Halim who was
part of the delegation.

“We are seeking support from China to
use the Senai airport as a hub for Chinese airlines to bring Chinese
tourists to South-East Asia markets,’’ he said.

Shahrull said
the company also wanted to attract companies from China to use Senai
airport and PTP as their platforms for manufacturing and logistics

The airport has a 40.46ha Free Zone, of which
24.28ha and 16.18ha are allocated for industrial and commercial use
respectively. The port has a 242.81ha district park housing logistics
warehouses and factories.

SATS will be launching its
multi-billion ringgit Senai Aviation & Airport City project next to
the Senai airport in the second quarter of the year.

The area
earmarked for an air cargo logistics centre will also house a
manufacturing park that will have dedicated space for the manufacture
of halal products that Chinese companies could exploit, according to

“They can get halal certification from Malaysia
and use Senai to export their products to the Middle East and other
Muslim-majority countries,’’ he said.

Conversely, Malaysian companies could use Senai to enter the Chinese market where the prospects for halal products were good.

According to US government figures, there were 20 million Muslims in China in 2006.