Biggest ain’t always best: Malaysian billionaire Tony Fernandes says PH should build smaller airports instead of eyeing megaprojects
Biggest ain’t always best: Billionaire Tony Fernandes says PH should build smaller airports instead of mega terminals
Due to the poor connection to the country’s gateways, Malaysian billionaire Tony Fernandes said it has become more expensive to go to an airport than to fly on his budget airline, Air Asia.
ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, Fernandes blamed the government’s obsession with big airport projects that take longer time to build rather than construct smaller airports that were more accessible.
He said when governments build airports, they forget about the ease or difficulty for travelers to get there.
“Infrastructure is always [seen as] a grandeur project. In airports for instance, everyone’s talking about the biggest, the highest, the longest runways, etc. But really, for me, infrastructure is also building smaller things quickly,” said Fernandes.
Fernandes said that since the government has been taking a long time building a big airport, he suggested that it build smaller gateways away from big cities and in secondary or tertiary cities.
He said that not only would this strategy “move things quickly”, it would also stimulate economies outside the major hubs.
Instead of building a new airport for $5 billion to $6 billion, Fernandes said the government should consider building airports that cost between $100 million to $200 million.