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February 03 , 2003

KLIA Expects 20 Private Jets For NAM Summit

By Nor Hayati Muda

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 (Bernama) -- The KL International Aiport (KLIA) expects 20 private aircrafts to park at its remote parking bay during the 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, the largest number of private jets ever parked there since the airport began operations.
However, KLIA's public relation manager Anis Zuhani Ahmad said they are not worried over it as the airport has more than 50 parking bays available and a team experienced aviation staff to handle them.
"We are asked to expect and make preparations for 20 private jets, but it could be less. However, if this (number) materialises, it will be our first time to cater for a large number at any one time," she told Bernama here.
KLIA, the biggest airport in Southeast Asia, began operations about four years ago, replacing Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport in Subang as the main entry point to the country.
Equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities, KLIA poses an opened door of what Malaysia has to offer for visitors, especially for the first timers.
"We have welcomed many VIP guests in the past, but not as many at one time like this. However, we do not see any problem as apart from our well-trained people, there will be several welcoming committees present at KLIA to greet them.
"Besides, according to our information, most of the delegates will arrive on commercial flights, so it will not bring any problem for us," she said.
The Summit, scheduled for six days from Feb 20 would see an attendance of senior officials, ministers and heads of government from 114 member nations.
Anis also said that KLIA would not be much involved in the handling of the delegates as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had their staff ready at the airport to immediately take the delegates to their designated hotels.
"We just do the normal ground handling but afterwards Foreign Ministry staff will take over, thus we don't need additional staff. In fact, we have showed them, for example where to take the luggages, where to park the loading trucks and so on," she said.
Anis said all of the welcoming committees including of that from the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry, guards-of-honour and the outriders would start camping at KLIA beginning on Feb 13.
All these people had been shown where they would be placed during this period, she added.
"From our information, the arrival would begin from Feb 13, the officials would start to arrive and head of state's arrival would start from Feb 21," she said.
She said all preparations, which started since the middle of last year, were in the final stage and were now focusing on the intergration of the welcoming committees.
"Basically we are ready to greet our guests. All the VIP rooms are cleaned including those at the Bunga Raya Complex. We have put up the banners to welcome the delegates and the red carpet will be rolled out two days before the first arrival is scheduled," she said.