Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen

pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
The Pulau Pangkor Island Airport is to reopen this 1st October 2019 and this comes as a positive move towards tourism on this island off the west coast of Perak, Malaysia. 
This airport is also called Lapangan Terbang Pulau Pangkor, which is a direct translation from the Malay language and has an airport code of PKG. 
Flights to Pangkor Island Airport will be from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah (Subang Airport), which is scheduled to be a daily direct flight. 
The reopening of the Pangkor Airport comes as huge news for the island, as it has been years since the airport closed. This has got a lot of people excited, hoping to see an increase in tourism on the island. 

Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen in October 2019

pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-1 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
The current structure of the Pangkor Island Airport. Photo SKS Airways Facebook.

According to news reports, Pangkor Airport will undergo renovations before opening, and if it all works out well, we should expect the airport to open on schedule. 

However, things can change, due to government issues, finances, planning and so on, therefore we can only hope that things flow smoothly for the targeted opening. 
This news also comes as a bonus to everyone as Pangkor Island will be officially a duty-free island from 1st January 2020. The news was announced by the government in early 2019. 
pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-2 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
View of the current Pulau Pangkor Airport in the old design. Photo SKS Airways Facebook.
For the inaugural flights to the island, it is mentioned that there will be direct flights from Subang Airport in Petaling Jaya. 
There are also plans for direct flights from Ipoh’s Sultan Azlan Shah Airport to Pangkor Airport, but currently, the focus is still on the Subang Airport or Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Selangor. 

History of Pangkor Island Airport

pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-3 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
The Pangkor STOL Airport Runway from above.
The airport at Pangkor Island officially opened in 1993, as a STOL or short take of and landing airport suitable for only small turboprop planes. 
The airstrip measures 732 meters long, which can only accommodate smaller passenger planes like the DCH-6 Twin Otter aircraft, and the de Havilland Canada Dash 7.[1] 
One of the original airlines that operated this route was Berjaya Air, where the Berjaya Group also operates the famous luxury Pangkor Laut Resort on a separate island here. 
There were three flights a week from Subang Airport which were on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday using the 48 seats de Havilland Canada Dash 7 aircraft. Berjaya Air[2] now operates private charters.
Pangkor Airport closed in February 2014, due to several reasons. One of them was that two large resorts had closed down on the island, and there were fewer travelers heading here. 

When Will Pangkor Island Airport Open? 

The official news states that the Pulau Pangkor Airport will start operations on 1st October 2019. This is what was mentioned in the mainstream news at the end of March 2019. 
There will also be flights starting before the official date, and this is due to testing and familiarization with operations and so on. 
pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-4 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
SKS Airways DCH-6 Twin Otter aircraft
Which Airlines Will Fly To Pangkor Island Airport? 

From what I know, it is said that a new airline called SKS Airways will be flying to Pangkor Airport. The airline is part of the SKS Group[3], which is a Malaysian Australian hotel and property developer group. 
SKS Airways will operate the Pangkor flights with a DCH-6 Twin Otter plane, which is a 19 seater turboprop aircraft. 
Please note that usually, the Twin Otter aircraft can take a maximum of 15 or 16 passengers due to the weight factor. Passengers need to weigh themselves and their luggage when checking in. 
The airline also plans to operate daily return flights from Subang Airport to Pangkor Airport. As for the flight time, there has been no official announcement yet. 
pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-5 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
SKS Airways, a Malaysia-Australia group
SKS Airways is also applying for a Subang to Ipoh flight, with two return flights daily, and this is also scheduled to start on the 1st October 2019. 
At the moment, only SKS Airways will be flying to Pangkor from Subang, and there has been no news about any other airline flying there. 
The main reason is because of the STOL runway, which can only cater to small turboprop aircraft like the Twin Otter, Dash 7 and ATR42-500. 
Most of the other airlines in Malaysia that operate turboprop planes have the ATR72-500, which cannot land at a STOL airport. 
pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-6 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
The Berjaya Air Dash 7 aircraft that used to fly to Pangkor Island. Photo Wikipedia[4].
How Long Will It Take To Fly To Pangkor Island? 
From Subang Airport, it takes 40 minutes flight to Pangkor Island one way. This is the normal time when using the Dash 7 aircraft, which was formerly used by Berjaya Air. 
SKS Airways is now using a Twin Otter plane, and it may take 50 to 60 minutes, due to the smaller aircraft size. But I am unsure about the exact time it will take. This is just an estimate. 
Just so you know, I have flown on the Twin Otter plane to various destinations in Sarawak, and one of them is to the Bakelalan Airport[5] in the Sarawak Highlands. 
pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-7 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
Where the Pangkor Island Airport is located at.
Where Is Pangkor Island Airport? 

The Pulau Pangkor Airport is located in the north part of the island, and by Teluk Dalam. The main airport building is along Jalan Pasir Bogak, which is the main road that links Teluk Dalam with Teluk Nipah. 
Pangkor Island is small, and from the airport to Pangkor Town in the south, it only takes a 15-minute drive there. 
For those traveling to some of the hotels, resorts, and homestays on Pangkor Island, it will take you from five to 20 minutes drive. 
pangkor-island-airport-to-reopen-8 Pangkor Island Airport To Reopen
An aerial view of the Pangkor Island Airport near Teluk Dalam.
Conclusion

Since the news came out in late May 2019, many locals in Pangkor Island are looking forward to the reopening of the island airport.
This comes as a very positive move towards tourism on the island, and locals are hoping that the direct flights to Pangkor Island will bring in more tourists. 
The reopening of the Pangkor Airport also compliments the island becoming a duty-free island from the 1st of January 2020. 
Pangkor Island now joins other duty-free islands in Malaysia that are highly popular among the local travelers, and also the foreigners, and once the Pangkor Island Airport reopens, this should bring in more visitors. 

References

  1. ^ de Havilland Canada Dash 7. (en.wikipedia.org)
  2. ^ Berjaya Air (www.berjaya-air.com)
  3. ^ SKS Group (www.sksgroup.com.my)
  4. ^ Wikipedia (upload.wikimedia.org)
  5. ^ Bakelalan Airport (blog.malaysia-asia.my)

Leave A Reply