Airports

Ownership

Who owns the airports?

According to publicly available sources, most of the airports providing civil aviation services are owned by the Malaysian government. The majority of these airports are operated by an entity known as Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (Malaysia Airports) and the remaining three airports are operated by three unrelated corporate entities. The government has a majority stake in Malaysia Airports through various government-related agencies. 

Licensing

What system is there for the licensing of airports?

An airport operator must have an Aerodrome Operator Licence (AOL) issued by the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) to operate an aerodrome, which includes airport and airstrip for the movement of aircraft.  

An applicant is required to have a valid Aerodrome Certificate (AC) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) before an AOL can be issued. To obtain both the AC and AOL, the present procedure requires an applicant to first submit an application to the MAVCOM for an AOL by submitting the prescribed form (available at the MAVCOM), paying the prescribed fees and providing the requisite supporting documents and information such as the following: 

  • documentation in relation to the applicant company;
  • details of the applicant’s organisational structure;
  • details regarding the applicant’s financial status and projections;
  • details of the applicant’s proposed business plan;
  • an AC; and
  • a fit and proper declaration in the prescribed form (available at the MAVCOM).

 

If the documents and information are satisfactory to the MAVCOM, the applicant will be issued with a conditional approval (CA). 

The CA will enable the airport operator to apply for an AC from the CAAM. To do this, the applicant must submit the prescribed form (available at the CAAM), pay the prescribed fees and provide the requisite supporting documents and information. If the documents and information are satisfactory to the CAAM, the CAAM will issue an AC to the applicant. 

The MAVCOM will issue the AOL after a valid AOC is issued. 

As both regulatory bodies are empowered to prescribe new guidelines or requirements deemed necessary for these applications from time to time, an applicant must verify the latest guidelines or requirements prescribed before an application is made.

Economic regulation

Is there a system of economic regulation of airports? How does it function?

The MAVCOM is empowered to regulate economic matters, including airports. Specifically, in terms of aerodrome operators, the Malaysian Aviation Consumer Protection Code 2016 requires the aerodrome operators to designate points of arrival or departure with clear signage and basic information to ease movement by users of airports.  

Complaints by consumers on non-compliance with the Code are heard and determined by the MAVCOM.

Access

Are there laws or rules restricting or qualifying access to airports?

Under the Civil Aviation Act 1969, the Minister of Transport is empowered to make secondary legislation regulating the use of or restricting the entry to aerodrome as may be expedient. There is a specific provision enabling the Minister to declare an area at or within the aerodrome as a controlled area, thereby restricting access if it is necessary for the safety of air navigation or for securing the efficient operation of any aid to air navigation.

Slot allocation

How are slots allocated at congested airports?

The MAVCOM is responsible for monitoring the management of the slot allocation process. Slot allocation is carried out by the National Slot Coordination Malaysia in accordance with the International Air Transport Association Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG). 

In Malaysia, although only the Kuala Lumpur International Airport is classified as a Level 3 airport, the National Slot Coordination Malaysia undertakes slot coordination at all airports, regardless of the congestion level, based on the WSG principles. Adjustments are made based on certain local parameters at Malaysian airports, such as aircraft parking stands or gates, operating hours, runway and terminal capacity, and passenger flow.

Ground handling

Are there any laws or rules specifically relating to ground handling? What are they?

Access to the market is regulated by licensing requirements. An operator must have a ground handling licence (GHL) issued by the MAVCOM to undertake these services. 

An applicant is required to have a valid Technical Approval (TA) issued by the CAAM before a GHL can be issued. To obtain both the GHL and TA, the procedure requires an applicant to first submit an application to the MAVCOM for a GHL by submitting the prescribed form (available at the MAVCOM), paying the prescribed fees and providing the requisite supporting documents and information, such as the following: 

  • documentation in relation to the applicant company;
  • details of the applicant’s organisational structure;
  • details regarding the applicant’s financial status and projections;
  • details of the applicant’s equipment and staffing;
  • details of the applicant’s current operations and proposed business plan for the next five years;
  • technical approval; and
  • a fit and proper declaration in the prescribed form (available at the MAVCOM).

 

If the documents and information are satisfactory to the MAVCOM, the applicant will be issued with a CA. 

The CA will enable the applicant to then apply for a TA from the CAAM. To do this, the applicant has to submit to the CAAM the prescribed form (available at the CAAM), pay the prescribed fees and provide the requisite supporting documents and information. If the CAAM finds the documents and information satisfactory, it will issue a TA to the applicant. 

The MAVCOM will issue the GHL after a valid TA is issued. 

In terms of competition, presently, there are no specific guidelines applicable to ground handling services. The following guidelines, collectively referred to as the Competition Guidelines, are relevant:

  • Guidelines on Aviation Service Market Definition;
  • Guidelines on Anti-Competitive Agreements;
  • Guidelines on Abuse of Dominant Position;
  • Guidelines on Substantive Assessment of Mergers;
  • Guidelines on Notification and Application Procedure for an Anticipated Merger or a Merger;
  • Guidelines on the Determination of Financial Penalties; and
  • Guidelines on Leniency Regime.

 

Air traffic control

Who provides air traffic control services? And how are they regulated?

The air traffic control of the Malaysian airspace is managed by the CAAM's Air Traffic Management Division, which is primarily responsible for the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic. 

Law stated date

Correct on:

Give the date on which the above content is accurate.

26 June 2020.