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LETTER | KLIA: A gateway to disappointment

LETTER | As a frequent traveller, I have always believed that airports are a gateway to a country’s culture and hospitality. However, my recent experience at KLIA has left me deeply disappointed. It is sad to see that the airport, which was once a symbol of modernity and efficiency, has fallen behind its international counterparts.

From the poorly designed wayfinding signages to the frequent breakdowns of the aerotrain, it is evident that urgent attention is needed from the authorities.

The signages are too small and not adequately visible from a distance. This can cause confusion for passengers who need to navigate the airport quickly. It is essential to have clear, bright, and visible signage to ensure the safety and convenience of passengers.

The airport's interior design is also outdated and uninspiring, failing to reflect the country’s rich culture and heritage. Changi has recently reopened its revamped Terminal 2 with a fresh look. KLIA needs a significant overhaul to enhance the overall travel experience for passengers and create a positive impression of the country.

To add insult to injury, the streetlights leading to the airport were mostly not working and the road markers and lines were faded. The signboards were dirty and the directory stickers in the elevators and around the terminal were almost illegible. As a result, tourists and investors are greeted with an unsightly and uninviting environment that does not reflect Malaysia’s vibrant and welcoming personality.

I have reported this to the Public Works Department (PWD) but received a response that they are lacking funds to repair the faulty streetlights. This is not only shocking but really frustrating that PWD seems to not care about road safety.

The frequent breakdowns of the aerotrain have been a persistent issue that affects the airport’s efficiency. The aerotrain is a vital mode of transport within the airport and any delay caused by breakdowns can have a ripple effect on flights and passengers.

Reports suggest that MAHB was supposed to receive new buses by November last year but the delay in receiving them has only exacerbated the problem, putting additional pressure on the aerotrain.

Moreover, the KLIA Express train was in a deplorable state. The carpets were worn out and the screens malfunctioned, emitting a foul smell that could make anyone feel nauseous. It is unacceptable that the KLIA Express, which is the most expensive airport rail service in the region, has had four separate breakdowns in just under three weeks between February and March this year.

KLIA’s current state is unacceptable and urgent action is needed from the airport authorities and relevant stakeholders. I understand it involves various stakeholders to ensure the success of an airport but MAHB, being the main operator, must step up its game.

It boggles me how MAHB can neglect to fix minor issues such as faulty lighting and outdated signage in the airport. Neglecting the airport’s infrastructure and services can have severe repercussions on the country's economy and tourism industry.

KLIA needs urgent attention from the authorities. It is time to revamp the airport’s design, modernise its infrastructure, and provide top-notch services to its passengers.

As a frequent flyer, I hope to see significant improvements in the airport’s infrastructure and services in the near future.

It is high time that KLIA once again becomes a symbol of Malaysia’s hospitality, modernity, and efficiency. We cannot afford to let KLIA fall behind its international counterparts and it is time to invest in its maintenance and development.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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