A Boon or a Bane for Subang Jaya?

Transport Minister Anthony Loke announced recently that Subang Airport will be transformed into a regional aviation hub with a maximum capacity of eight million annual passengers

THE sky above Subang Jaya will soon be filled with planes of all shapes and sizes zipping across with plans underway to turn Subang Airport into a regional aviation hub.

On Feb 6 2023, The Edge Markets report quoted Transport Minister Anthony Loke as saying that the proposed Subang Airport Regeneration Plan (SARP) prepared by Malaysia Airport Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has been approved by the Cabinet on Feb 2.

Loke was reported to have said that it will focus on the development of the aerospace ecosystem, general aviation/business aviation and city airports (city airport/secondary airport) and among the main changes proposed in the plan is the reintroduction of scheduled passenger flights and belly cargo flights by using narrow-body jets up to the size of A320/B737 or equivalent aircraft, at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Subang Airport.

He was also quoted as saying that Subang Airport will be transformed into a regional aviation hub with a maximum capacity of eight million annual passengers, in addition to generating thousands of high-value job opportunities for Malaysians.

Residents in SS19, the neighbourhood that’s “closest” to Subang Airport have voiced their concerns about the plan. This neighbourhood is presently in the flight path of planes heading to and from Subang Airport both civilian and military. In a recent community gathering, several residents had raised their reservations about the plan and fear that they will be facing more frequent noise pollution from the planes as they fly over Subang Jaya.

Air traffic over Subang Jaya had dropped significantly since the Kuala Lumpur International Airport took over as the main entry point for flights into and within the country in 1998. Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport halted commercial jet operations in 2002 after losing its status as a primary international airport to KLIA.Subsequently in 2009, the Subang SkyPark Terminal was opened and catered to mostly domestic flights.

Residents who have lived in Subang Jaya long enough will still remember the frequent sounds and vibrations from approaching planes flying in and out of Subang Airport. When Subang Airport ceased operations in 2002, many “missed” the sounds and found it hard to sleep at night because of the silence in the sky above.

Will the rejuvenation of Subang Airport be a boon or a bane for Subang Jaya?

With just 12km distance from Subang Airport, Subang Jaya is bound to benefit from the regional aviation hub which is expected to handle eight million passengers annually. Commercial entities in Subang Jaya can capitalise on this. Private hospitals can boost their medical tourism initiatives; while shopping malls can capitalise on the potential tourists market that’s waiting to be tapped. Eateries and hotels will also benefit from the increased passenger traffic that’s arriving just a stone’s throw away from Subang Jaya.

Yet unknown is how residential areas will be impacted by the anticipated higher air traffic above Subang Jaya. Will the noise be too unbearable after two decades of significant peace and quiet?

We would like to know what you think of this. Pen us your thoughts and send them to [email protected]. The SJ Echo team will be contacting Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad to find out more about their plans.