CPG CONSULTANTS PRINCIPAL DESIGN CONSULTANT FOR THE EXPANSION OF PENANG AIRPORT, MALAYSIA.

A PROJECT UPDATE – THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT

CPGairport, a division of CPG Consultants, Singapore, in consortium with AHS Malaysia and ARUP are nearing the finalization of nearly two years of work on the exciting and detailed design for the expansion of the existing Penang International Airport on behalf of Malaysian Airports.

Pre-COVID, Penang regularly posted year by year the fourth-largest number of hotel guests in the country of Malaysia based on figures released by the Tourism board. The state attracted about 8.8% or 6.4 million hotel guests, trailing behind KL (22.3%), Pahang (14.2%) and Johor (9.7%).

Beach hotels in particular had occupancy rates as high as 70% in pre-COVID years whilst city hotels recorded rates of 60%.

What this clearly demonstrates is that no matter the current false situation, Penang pre or post COVID will always remain a major tourist destination and economic power-house for the Government not only driven by the international market but, and perhaps as importantly, as a local, domestic market destination of choice for Malaysians and it is expected that Penang visitor numbers will dramatically bounce back exponentially after the pandemic is in-hand.

Analysts are currently predicting conservative traffic numbers for Penang similar to most destinations around the World in the coming years ahead although there appears to be, in the aviation industry and from some sectors, a prevalent shift in belief and hope that once vaccines become wide spread – the first reaction (forgive the pun) will be an explosion in leisure travel with countries finding their conservative traffic forecasts to be woefully low and under-stated leaving some airports un-prepared.

To that end – the Malaysian government with foresight and astute planning, commissioned the expansion project to keep apace the ever growing demand placed, capacity wise, on the one and only commercial airport in Penang.

The existing airport catering to both domestic and international travelers of some 7.2 million per annum (pre-COVID) remains in dire need of an upgrading especially the Terminal Building which was previously designed to accommodate only 6 million passengers as well as the supporting facilities and airfield systems including a new control tower.

The CPG expansion design once implemented will increase capacity from 6 million annual passengers to 12 million as a first phase with some 29 new gates. A further two phases of 16 million and 20 million will be activated as and when needed by the operator depending on actualized traffic demands post-COVID.

We are excited to have previously been awarded such a nationally important project by Malaysian Airports for this prestigious airport design and have, to date, provided a beautifully crafted, bespoke and resilient design purposefully tailored to the expressed needs and aspirations of all concerned.

Simulation modelling –

Simulation modelling is an important design tool and CPG together with Transoft, CPG’s simulation partner on this project, applied simulation modelling across the design and continues to be applied extensively throughout the Terminal and airfield to study, ascertain and advise the operations on all aspects. Furthermore, the simulation is detailed to such an extent that constant and real-time evaluation of the passenger processing touch points and aircraft movements can and are adjusted precisely to meet the optimum recommendations of IATA and tailored to the Client’s expressed operating needs and aspirations.

What this means in real terms is the Client can see the design in action based on forecast passenger numbers and various aircraft mixes. if utilized correctly, simmulation can be a powerful tool.

Pandemic resilience –

CPG Consultants expertise in Pandemic Resilience and the application of CPG’s Pandemic resilience ‘Play Book’ solutions into Airport spaces is paramount in ensuring today’s designs are tomorrows solutions.

Connecting to and welcoming the local surroundings –

The expanded and completed airport, will when open, cleverly connect the activities at the Airport with those of the surrounding environs and neighborhoods greatly enhancing and enriching the local Community as a whole.

The proposed development is by far the most ambitious airport project commissioned by Malaysian Airports to date - Incorporating an eclectic mix of offerings within the airport confines including cultural, retail, food and beverage as well as eco-tourism and recreational activities all under one beautifully designed roof. Greatly improving diverse tourism and business opportunities for the region whilst also serving as a catalyst for dynamic lifestyle and family entertainment possibilities for the future.

Once again, we, CPGairport, are honoured to have been entrusted with this important and exciting project and we look forward to the completion of the detailed design in the coming year ahead and watching the airport rise and emerge from the pandemic stronger and more resilient than ever, ready for continued success in the future.

As a final note; I for one am greatly looking forward to visiting the people of Penang as one of the first destinations on my travel list to soak up the sights and sounds of Malaysia as well as savoring the World famous cuisine … when holidays once again become viable and safe, hopefully soon!

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