By Lloyd Green
Travelling to Malaysia soon? Well, you’re bound to stopover at one of it’s many airports. If you’re nervous about flying, are a stickler for safety and cleanliness, or just interested in random facts about planes, here’s a list of some useful (or not so useful) information that will help make your trip more enjoyable.
‘Airport in the Forest, Forest in the Airport’
When Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) opened in 1998 it also brought with it an entire section of native forest transplanted from nearby Sepang. It was placed inside the airport’s Satellite Building and today exists as KLIA Jungle Boardwalk.
KLIA Jungle Boardwalk is now a popular attraction at KLIA.
Where can I sleep in KLIA2?
Is there anything worse than a layover or overnight delay at an airport. Sure you can always find accommodation at a nearby hotel, but sometimes it’s just as as easy to crash inside the terminal. Of course not everywhere is comfortable, so here are some of the ‘better’ places to sleep inside KLIA2.
There is very little carpeted area before going through immigration, so if you have an international transfer, simply follow directions and go straight to your terminal. While many people will be doing the same thing, you will definitely have a better chance of finding a ‘softer’ surface here. If you are at International Gates P and Q, there is also a sports and movie lounge for your comfort. Both these places are tucked away from sight and are less crowded. Perfect for an eight hour nap before your next flight.
Malaysian airfields during war
Kota Kinabalu International Airport, originally known as Jesselton Airfield, was a military airstrip built and used the Japanese during World War II. It was bombed heavily by Allied Forces towards the end of the war until the surrender of the Japanese in 1945. Royal Malaysian Airforce (RAF) now has airbases at Kuching, Subang, Penang and Kuantan among other locations.
Subang Airport — Grand Old Lady
Back in its heyday, Subang International Airport boasted the longest runway in Southeast Asia at 3.7km long and 45m wide. Air France’s supersonic Concorde made its first visit to Malaysia in 1988 touching down at Subang Airport on November 21. It is believed its force was so powerful the airport’s windows shattered. Towards the end of its time as KL’s main airport, Subang suffered two major fires with air traffic forced to divert to other airports. One terminal was demolished. Now, it serves as the hub for Berjaya Air, Firefly and Malindo Air.
Modern day Subang Airport.
Facts & Figures
KLIA2 is the world’s largest purpose-built terminal for low-cost carriers and cost RM4 billion to build. It is at least 257,000 square metres in mass, equivalent to 24 football fields and is able to handle up to 45 million passengers annually. Kota Kinabalu International Airport is the second busiest airport in Malaysia behind KLIA-KLIA2 and has the capacity to handle 9 million passengers per year.
Don’t get caught!
If you are a foreigner and flying to Eastern Malaysia from Peninsular Malaysia, make sure you have your passport. There are immigration controls at both Kuching and Kota Kinabalu international airports. You won’t be allowed on your flight from any airport on mainland Malaysia to those destinations without the correct paperwork.
What to do when your international flight arrives at KLIA and your domestic transfer is with Air Asia at KLIA2?
The quickest way to get from KLIA to KLIA2 is via the inter-terminal train which takes three minutes and costs just RM2. If, for some reason, you want to save an extra RM1 you can take the shuttle bus from the basement of KLIA to the front of KLIA2. The bus runs every 15 minutes and takes about 10 minutes to get there. Avoid taking this option late at night though, as half the airport’s staff will try and cram on at the same time, making it almost impossible for you to get off. In other words, catch the inter-terminal train!