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Airport with a history |
The upgraded Batu Berendam Airport will be a major gateway to
the historical city as it is expected to receive 500,000 passengers
within the next three years.
MALACCA: The Batu Berendam Airport has historical significance, as it was the very place Tunku Abdul Rahman landed on Feb 20, 1956, following his historic trip to London.
It was in Malacca that Tunku first announced to the nation the date of independence from Britain.
However, since then, the airport has not been seen as an important destination for major airlines, except Riau Airlines that operates the Malacca-Indonesia route.
But things are about to change as the Batu Berendam Airport, one of the oldest airports in the country, is set to become the southern gateway and a hub for medical tourism.
The upgraded Batu Berendam Airport would be to be a major gateway to the Historical City as it is expected to receive 500,000 passengers within the next three years.
This figure is not far-fetched, as the airport, which would be renamed as the Malacca International Airport by year end after the RM131.5 million upgrade, is targeted to boost the state as a hub for health tourism.
The airport, which was opened by the Duchess of Kent in October 1952, will be transformed into a bigger and modern airport by the end of this year to accommodate larger carriers like Boeing B737 and Airbus A320..
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said even with the old airport, the health tourism sector in the state has seen a steady increase in medical tourists, especially from Singapore and Indonesia.
"Take the state-owned Putra Hospital for example, it recorded revenue of RM100 million from medical tourism packages last year, compared to RM70 million in the previous year.
"This is why I foresee the airport playing a significant role in bringing in the medical tourists, especially from Sumatera, which has about 700 million people."
On the operations of the airport, Ali said that the Riau Airlines would fly from Batu Berendam once daily while Firefly, the low-cost carrier of Malaysia Airlines, would resume its operations to Singapore in September.
"AirAsia would operate from here sometime in November on a daily basis."
Ali said some 70,000 foreign patients sought medical treatment in the state last year.
Firefly is expected to start its operations in September with flights to Singapore four times a week. Firefly will use the airport to serve the Malacca-Pekan Baru, Indonesia route in 2010.
tak pernah2 aku tau ada epot kat batu berendam nih... yikesssssssss ghopernyer dah berjaman ada.... teruk tul aku nih....