Operations Management Report - Kuala Lumpur International Airport

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Executive summary.



The scope of operation management.

The roles of operation manager.

The strategic choices of location.

The use of technology.

The suitability of floor layout.

Commitment to safety and passengers’ satisfaction.



Executive summary.

This report presents an analysis of the principles of operation management deployed at Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA). The report will elaborate on the scope of operation management, the role of operations manager, strategic choices of location, technology use, suitability of floor layout, as well as the management authority’s commitment to safety and passenger satisfaction.

The main purpose of air transportation is to provide safe and efficient passenger’s transition between ground and airspace, as the ground operation being vital in the achievement of this function, it requires interaction of airport authority i.e. operation manager, pilot, air traffic control as well as ground handling and regulator. This will enable the ground movement of aircraft and vehicles needed to maintain the surface in a good condition and produce a good output. Therefore, this report will present the analysis of the principles of operation management that are deployed in international airports, the main focus is at Kuala Lumpur International airport, Malaysia.


Kuala Lumpur airport (KLIA) began its operation in 1988. It’s located in Sepang, 55 kilometers, south of Kuala Lumpur. The airport was built with the cost of RM 8.5 billion. Its primary Malaysia international airport that’s saves Malaysia capital city and beyond.

Being one of the southeast Asian major aviation hubs, that has been built with features that allow flexibility for future expansion, it hosts 50 international and domestic carriers, with frequent connections between major Asian cities. The airport is also well connected with varieties of transport, including KLI express trains, taxis and busses. The airport is operated by Malaysian airport (MAHB) Sepang Sdn Bhd.


The scope of operation management.

Infrastructure management.

Infrastructure includes all facilities that are directly related to the operation of the airport, at Kuala Lumpur international airport there a number of facilities enabling the functionality of the airport, these include(s),

Luggage controls facilities.

KLIA has 12 baggage conveyors which are set into alphabet A to M. The conveyors, L and M are dedicated to domestic arrivals while the rest 10 are set for international arrivals. The airport Baggage handling system (BHS) that comprises baggage common check-in in all of the 216 counters incorporates by automatic bar-code sorting controls, operates daily at 24 hours, with 4 levels in-line baggage security screening and high speed conveyors belts. At the arrival gate hand luggage trolleys are provided for passengers as well as in car parks trolleys are available at specific nest on all floors, and complimentary luggage trolleys are provided within the MTB and reclaim areas.

Communication facilities.

KLIA information counters are located in MTB and satellite building A, to facilitate information floor in the terminals, the airport provides information kiosk, a touchscreen system which combines all multimedia elements. These touch screens help the passengers to know well about the airport functions, facilities and services provided, it’s a user friendly systems that are located though out MTB, and satellite A buildings for departures and arrivals. KLIA, provide also post office services which are located at level 5 of the MTB, operates from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Saturday. Business centers are located at the same level of the MBT departure and the mezzanine level of sat A, where services including fax, internet, telecommuting facilities, postal are offered.

Air traffic controls facilities.

KLIA has two air traffic controls towers, main control tower and apron control tower. The main control tower, which is 130 meters tall its built at air traffic control systems and radar equipments and the apron control tower, which is 55 meters serves for air crafts and vehicles movements in north and south part of the satellite terminal building. The airport has two parallelrunways, 14L/32R and 14R/32L, both are over 4,000 meters (13,000ft) long and 75 meters (246ft) wide.

Facilities for disable.

The airport also has developed numerous facilities for disable passengers and people, these facilities includes ramps, elevator, wheelchair accessible toilets, and adapted telephones to facilitate smooth passage throughout the terminals.

Other facilities include,

Hotels, restaurants, shops and car parks which are available in all seven locations of satellite A and MTB buildings. Bank, several burial exchanges facilities for arriving passengers are all available throughout the terminals, WiFi is also available throughout the airport for free of charge. KLIA, also offers shower, spa and sauna facilities located at satellite A beside gate C3 to give long flight passengers a feeling of relaxation.

Productivity management.

Achieving high productivity is one of the KLIA goals, measuring the input KLIA has 2,513 employees who work directly to the airport, basing on the input, productivity, which is the output produced can be measured based on different categories, this includes, number of passengers handled, tons of air cargo handled, and the number of aircraft movements landings as well as takeoffs handled. The figure below shows increase of productivity recorded at the airport for different years.















Cargo handled (metric tonnes)







Aircraft movements















Cargo handled (metric tonnes)




Aircraft movements




Capacity monitoring.

In monitoring capacity, terminal space per passenger is measured, the component factor is based on physical characteristics data on the competitive strength of the terminal. This physical structure characteristic is calculated by the number of passengers per square meter. Kuala Lumpur international airport has the capacity of 28 passengers per terminal square meter.

Level of airport charges.

The cost can be measured among the airport chargers to users, as the aircraft landing fees are normally considered as the most representative indicators. Based on the research conducted among different Asian airport, the standard aircraft, B747-400 carry 352 tons was chosen and Japanese airport shows high levels of airport fees while Kuala Lumpur, Changi, and Incheon airports were relatively low.

Full-size image (5 K)

Safety and security management.

All facilities at the Kuala Lumpur international airport are under a monitored by CCTV, Security personnel are well trained to handle sophisticated security equipment. KLIA is the worlds second airport to be equipped with an explosive goods diffusion chamber, after Munich international airport. These diffusion explosive chambers were purchased at the cost of RM 1.6 million each.

The roles of operation manager.

An airport operation manager is a person responsible for assessing, coordinating and evaluating airport operations activities, KLIA operational manager roles include the following,

Manage, control, plan and organize day to day operational activities of the airport in a way that raises the productivity of the stuffs, this is by ensuring the physical and human resources of the airport are achieved. He directs inspection of airport facilities, for maintenance, safety and cleanings as well as open and closes airport to aircraft operation for safety issues and coordinates rescue and post accident recovery operation at the airport.

Managing resources and employees, airport operations manager play a role in inventory management, and purchasing of necessary airport equipment as well as assisting in the formulation of plans for airport and aviation development. He directs employees in preparation of daily inspection reports and log entries at the airport, and then analyze and reviews operational activity reports.

Oversee the policies, procedures and schedules of the airport in internal departments as well as outside vendors to ensure federal, local, state regulation are followed. Participating in reviewing and approving construction projects and specifications as they relate to air side and land side operations. Supervise and control flight-handling activities such as flight editing, check in, transfers, boarding, in order to ensure an optimum standard of guest service, ensuring that all ground services business is delivered in accordance with the KLIA values.

Also airport operation manager has a role in implementing changes concerning the daily operation of the airfield, by continuously monitor the staffs skill levels and determine changes needed in the management and maintenance of the airport surface, i.e. the provision of the infrastructure in a working condition.

The strategic choices of location.

The strategic location of the Kuala Lumpur international park has made it to be one of the highest hub potentials in the Asia Pasific region.

The uniqueness of the airport lies in its boundaries that needed for business, entertainment and relaxation, and surrounded by four main cities, Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Seremban and Melaca. It is therefore is the part and parcel of the multimedia super corridor where establishment of high technology industries are being actively pursued and it’s a catchment area that offers exciting opportunities for business.

In evaluating of airport accessibility, based on level of transit fares, a variety of transport modes, convenience, comfort, and other elements, Kuala Lumpur international airport is connected with good links of network highways and express highways to the rest of peninsular Malaysia, from Kuala Lumpur the primary access is through North-South central link expressways. Another route is through the North-South highway eastern route that links the southern towns Seremban and Melacca to the airport via Nilai interchange. The airport can also be accessed by other modes of public transportation to and from KLIA are via express buses, taxis, limousines and the Express Rail Link.

The Express Rail Linkprovides the latest means of transportation to KLIA from the city center. The KLIA Express and the KLIA Transit links KLIA to Kuala Lumpur (KL Sentral - City Air Terminal) and vice-versa.

The strategic location of the airport has also attracted visitors who are in need to experience the thrill of formula one (F1) car racing which is located at Sepang Circuit 10 kilometers from the airport. Therefore the airport location, lies in the boundaries of cities which gives it a business opportunity as well as entertainment for visitors who come to Malaysia and passing through the airport or use the airport.

The use of technology.

In recent years the airport has upgraded its WiFi facilities that serve tenants, visitors and passengers, the Malaysia Airport Holding Berhad which operates KLIA, has upgraded the backbone of the airport network infrastructure, and made the award winning airport network facilities to be one of the most powerful in the world.

Under the project, which was implemented by Malaysia Airports through its subsidiary Malaysia Airport Technologies Sdn Bhd (MA Tech), the airport was fitted with a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) network that utilizes Cisco Systems(R) equipment, replacing the Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network that previously supported KLIA's Total Airport Management System. The new network is equipped with technology that will support KLIA's network for many years to come; its capacity has increased from 622 megabits per second to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps).

Also coming to security infrastructure KLIA, has upgraded its technology by purchasing the explosive goods diffusion chamber that cost RM 1.6 this has made it to be the 2nd in the world’s airport to be equipped with diffusion of highly explosive goods after Munich.

Malaysia Airlines Kargo (MASKARGO) has also introduced various artificial intelligence system to handle cargo at KLIA, these systems such as KLIA community system (KLIACS) and e-Involving and payment has facilitated the airport capabilities in handling cargo and does it more efficiently. It pioneered theDagangNET System, allowing users to conduct trade declarations and applying permits over the internet and speeding the approval process by controlling authorities. These systems will be linked the Total Airport Management System.

The suitability of floor layout.


Both domestic and international passengers will pass through the arrival course located at level 3. Domestic passengers will come from the gates at domestic concourses and walk throughout a link bridge to claim for their baggage, and after that they go through taxi or limousine at arrival level curbside. For international passengers on international flights arriving at the Satellite Building, they must board the Aerotrain to the MTB. They will arrive at the mezzanine level of the contact pier and take the escalators down to the arrival level (level 3), and then go through immigration checks and collect your baggage at the international baggage claim


The Departure Level is on Level 5 of the Main Terminal Building (MTB), and caters to both domestic and international departures. There is a total of 216 check-in counters along six lanes, identified by alphabets A to M (excluding I). For tour groups, check-in counters are available at the Ground Level of MTB. All domestic and some international departures are from the MTB while Sat. A caters solely to international departures.

Access to Sat. A is via the Aerotrain. Then Passengers proceed through the international departure concourse, then the escalator down to the mezzanine level a floor below and go Through immigration. If the boarding gate lounge is Gate A or gate B then passengers head towards the international gate lounges at the mezzanine level of the contact pier, and departs from the satellite building, passengers must board the Aerotrain at the mezzanine level.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport Flow Plan.

Upper Level.


Lowel Level.




Commitment to safety and passengers’ satisfaction.

Safety of passengers and satisfaction are a key performance indicator for the operation of an airport. In assuring safety and customer satisfaction, KLIA has committed to giving a high quality of ground services through its terminals, at the same time struggling for continuous improvements to meet customer satisfaction. Therefore, to assure customer safety and satisfaction, KLIA does the following,

Offering terminal comfort, good atmosphere for passengers, including maintaining cleanings in the terminal areas and toilets, seats facilities and as well as providing children play area and rest area facilities.

Giving customer proper time to check in, immigration queuing times for arrival as well as departure, security queuing time as well as staffs being helpful and kind in serving customers. Clarity of signboards, terminal directions, including walking distance, as well as up to date flight information on the screen as well as availability of luggage trolleys.

Passengers also are offered with TV entertainment facilities, washrooms, waiting area, variety of choices of shopping. Management committed to improving communication facilities by offering passengers internet facilities, WIFI availability, telephone as well as business center facilities.

At the airport the passengers are also offerer bureau exchange facilities, ATM facilities, as well as mobile operator facilities for arrival passengers that will enable them to purchase card for any mobile operator.

To increase passenger satisfaction, the management puts numerous choices of bars, cafes and restaurant that the airport offered to its passengers, that offer quality services for food and drinks, also offering smoking areas for passenger safety, and as well as giving good facilities, access for disabled people, this gives them the perception of being safe and secured.

Availability of baggage conveyors, which are identified alphabetically ranging from A TO M operating at the airport, this increase customer satisfaction as it takes a short time for arriving passengers to get their baggage on time, L and M conveyors are dedicated for domestic arrivals while the rest are placed for international arrivals.

Also, the passengers are provided with facilities like information kiosk, touch screen system that combines a combination of text, audio, video and graphics capabilities that help them to navigate the terminals, by giving them variety of information concerning the airport, and its functions, existing facilities and services available, this make it easy for a customer to understand fast the area, and hence increase its satisfaction as well as guarantee its safety.

Also, passengers are offered with facilities like shower, sauna & spa located at the satellite building A for long journey arrival passenger, to refresh their bodies if they want, which also give passengers a good comfort.

KLIA's commitment to promote environmental responsibility for all local and foreign travelers was recognized by Green Globe, making it the first and only airport in the world to receive Green Globe 21 certificate in year 2004 and onwards.

Therefore, these shows that the management operation at the Kuala Lumpur international airport, has put various commitments in assuring safety and passenger satisfaction when they are inside the terminals.


Therefore, as we have seen the principles of operation management deployed at Kuala Lumpur International airport, It is believed that by reducing costs and prices through an increase in labor and capital productivity, an airport will be able to achieve higher airport operational efficiency thereby, improving international competitiveness.