The airport glitch that stole Christmas 

Jahabar Sadiq

The latest breakdown of the KLIA aerotrain occurred at an inopportune time. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 25, 2017.

WHAT does it say when a critical component of an airport breaks down at the most inopportune time? 

And not for the first time at all. To be precise, it was the third time this year. 

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) aerotrain was shut down yesterday as it had ferried 95,000 passengers in a 12-hour period, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said in a post on its official Facebook page.

The listed Malaysian airport operator said 16 buses were deployed immediately to ferry passengers between the main terminal and satellite buildings.

“Due to the heavy usage, the trains were withdrawn for emergency maintenance in order to ensure the parts are serviced for continued operation,” said MAHB.

The question is, why is it happening again? Don’t they follow maintenance schedules for the aerotrains? Especially ahead of peak seasons such as the year-end school holidays and festive seasons? 

After all, the company is on record last September when it said there would be a major overhaul by the year end. Well, this is the year end. 

MAHB managing director Badlisham Ghazali said then:  “We are also halfway through heavy maintenance work on the two trains.” 

So, what happened to the heavy maintenance? 

Yes, KLIA is 20 years old and so is the aerotrain, but it doesn’t mean it breaks down just due to age? And if that is the case, how come nothing was done to replace it according to schedule? 

There is only one word for such a screw-up that has recurred. That word is incompetence.

Be it the maintenance department or the top management, someone has been incompetent and is costing the company money and many red faces, that is if they feel any shame. 

And it costs passengers their time and their good cheer this holiday season. 

As for Malaysia, its another incident that mars our good name – a country that was known for its modernity and efficiency, but now for financial scandals and silly breakdowns at its best airport. – December 25, 2017.

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  • There's preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance and breakdown. Don't know about "emergency maintenance".

    Posted 6 years ago by Lawman will · Reply

  • Where's Liow who always goes to their rescue today? Incompetence and inefficient in Bolehlend! Sick and tired of these repeat script from the Government of the day!!!!!

    Posted 6 years ago by Crishan Veera · Reply

  • Ha ha ha Mary Chrisrtmas ha ha ha

    Posted 6 years ago by Leslie Chan · Reply

  • There are many things wrong with KLIA.

    1. I don't understand why only the outer lane of the arrival hall is open to public cars. There is always a massive jam getting into KLIA and there are no police to chase away the waiting cars.

    2. The baggage information is not correct and not timely. It is confusing and the main display displays the wrong flight information.

    3. They have modified the layout of the satellite building and there are stairs in the middle of the corridors leading to the gates which makes it difficult to passenger to get in/out to the aero trains. There is always massive congestions because of the stairs. They added those so that they could make more money from retail outlet at a massive cost of inconvenience for the passengers.

    Posted 6 years ago by Red Cicak · Reply

  • The KLIA aerotrain was supplied by ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation (ADTranz) which was acquired by Bombardier of Canada in 2001.

    Bombardier of Canada which also supplied the trains for the Kelana Line LRT.

    More particularly, the train sets are Bombardier Innovia APM 100.

    Bombardier is a solvent company still in business, so what is the problem with getting technical support and replacement parts for the aerotrain, including new or spare trainsets which can be deployed whilst others are being maintained?

    The same APM 100 train sets are used on the Bukit Panjang LRT which serves the local area from one of the Singapore MRT stations and local LRT stations.

    However, there reportedly were technical problems with the LRT in the early days.

    "The line suffered numerous technical problems in its initial years, and subsequent LRT lines in Singapore used the Crystal Mover (Mitsubishi) instead. SMRT also announced that they will upgrade the LRT system and full cost paid by the company themselves."

    "13 more trainsets for the Bukit Panjang LRT Line (C801A) have been progressively introduced since late-2014 to ease the 100% peak hour congestion. As of 4 September 2015, all C801A trains are on revenue service."

    According to Wikipedia, the KLIA Aerotrains are maintained for two hours each day and yes they have broken down fairly frequently.

    Perhaps MAHB should either completely replace them with newer Bombardier models such as the APM 100 (C801A), like Singapore has done on its Bukit Panjang line or opt for trains from another manufacturer such as Mitsubishi, though this would require a complete replacement of the KLIA Aerotrain system.

    Posted 6 years ago by IT Scheiss · Reply

  • Also do a coverage on the various scanners/diagnostics/monitoring/ equipment used at all prime hospitals nationwide. Speak to the doctors/nurses in the emergency/ICU units and get their feedback on the administrative/personnel/maintenance culture of these important facilities.

    Posted 6 years ago by Arun Paul · Reply