Letters - Shield MAB from ‘vested interests’

03 Sep 2015 / 23:19 H.

    "A NEW MAS takes off" (Off the Cuff, Aug 28) refers. As the senior technical director in 1981 of a Malaysian/international joint venture project management firm that was appointed to control all design, construction and commissioning of the MAS ground facilities before commencement of flight operations at the then new KLIA airport in the late 1990's, and now being aware of the appointment of Christoph Mueller as CEO, he has my interest and sympathy relative to the challenges he is likely to face.
    To have the benefit of his background and experience from overseas is clearly a positive decision, however the much bigger problem is not just within MAS (now MAB) in terms of management and achieving maximum flight operational performance and profitability, but more significantly, recognising and dealing with the external influences that have been in the past and will likely in the future continue to be the challenges from self-centred third parties that have not understood the needs for maximum coordination and efficiency between all related elements relative to the operation of both the national airline and the KLIA airport to the benefit of all concerned.
    The many differences in Southeast Asia are significantly at variance to Europe in such things as the extent of third party uncoordinated interference and more importantly the amount of division and lack of coordination between certain "influential authorities", some of which have limited understanding of aviation operations, which is clearly the reason why KLIA is not the challenge to Changi Singapore that the then Malaysian prime minister expected KLIA to become.
    Too many "authorities" and the lack of essential coordination between the involved "decision makers" and too much interference by those with vested interests must raise the question; what was the logic behind the recent development of klia2 being isolated from the two initial KLIA terminals in such a manner likely causing duplication and cost and time inefficiencies relative to operational and services efficiency where both ground and airline operational activities are concerned.
    By planning observation of the existing terminal locations Terminal 2 could have been located on the land adjacent to the southwest of the international terminal and interconnected to the existing terminal facilities to make travelling a pleasure as opposed to the current duplication and isolation from other international connections and facilities which would seem to have been initiated to keep the two terminals apart.
    The success of international airport operations overseas works around the principle of appropriate communication and cooperation between the airport management and the respective operating parties relative to ground and flying matters to the benefit of all concerned – a process that appears not to presently exist at KLIA.
    The current status on both ground support and flight operations can be summed up by "too many cooks spoiling the broth", within "MAS and externally which if not addressed in terms of changing from the past at all operational levels from ground support through to flight planning and training and efficient quality services to passenger and freight operations, then serviceable aircraft will not achieve the desired 45 minutes on the ground and KLIA and MAS, will not succeed to become both the quality international hub airport and the airline the nation deserves.
    The city of Kuala Lumpur is already under the influence of "too many cooks spoiling the broth" as is presently being demonstrated by the questionable poor road traffic, management and control in Kuala Lumpur of a road system that cannot efficiently accept the amount of today's traffic and is now being further limited by an elevated rail system constructed within many limited road widths, so what has this to do with KLIA and Aviation you may ask?
    To achieve both significant financial returns and positive tourist attraction, it is obvious that the combination of business profitability, (that overseas international airlines and hub airports achieve beyond landing fees and passenger fares), is well beyond the levels of KLIA because of reactive management rather than proactive management that is so much overdue on the city road system.
    Such things as significant interconnected large attractive terminal shopping facilities and wide range of support facilities that are apparent to the travellers from the moment they arrive until departure that are clearly evident overseas by the intensity of terminal passenger population virtually 24 hours a day say it all.
    Malaysia is known for its very special tourist attractions yet why has the success of other international airports not been adopted in Malaysia to attract travellers from the moment they enter KLIA, to enjoy an experience of a hub with something very special and equal to the best or even better?
    The most efficient airlines are those with excellent home base facilities efficiently operated to the benefit of all airlines concerned.
    Clearly a successful international hub is one that is attractive to all airline passengers and freight delivery corporations in terms of efficiency. ("From pick up to delivery within 24 hours to anywhere on earth").
    This comes back to a process that is managed and collectively focused relative to performance by excellence through coordination; top quality aircraft turn around, and efficient on-the-ground services that ensure the objective of minimal aircraft time on the ground without singular preference to any airline over any other operating through the airport, such as exists in Dubai, Singapore, Sydney and Frankfurt airports among others.
    For pure frustration from a cargo and passenger point of view, one only needs to study the road travel time from Kuala Lumpur city to KLIA in rush hours and on wet days and question the extent of international cargo transfer that travels by road from Changi to Kuala Lumpur city, to raise the question; why is cargo delivery adversely affected by delivery time from arrival to delivery and for Kuala Lumpur passengers road traffic management delayed by considerable traffic delays at toll booths.
    As a construction project manager with airport facilities experience and being a qualified pilot with international ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standard licences that allow me to fly as single pilot in command both locally and overseas, I support Mueller in every possible way and as the article indicates, "appropriate support is necessary" to "fast-track Malaysian Airlines from the past to the future" and I trust he achieves the objectives from take-off to landing with limited turbulence as described in the article.
    David Glanville-Williams
    Kuala Lumpur


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