Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) is a prominent Government-linked company or GLC and has been rapidly growing in tandem with the nation’s growth.

Its significant shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Berhad is the country’s sovereign fund.

MAHB had seen a change of guard in 2014 when Datuk Badlisham Ghazali took the helm of the company from seasoned aviation man, Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad. Badlisham has continued to propel the airport operator to greater heights.

MAHB runs 39 airports including Sabiha Gokchen International in Turkey and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hydrebad, India. It also operates klia2 which is the largest terminal in the world dedicated for low cost carriers in terms of capacity.

The airport operator which has been in business for more than 20 years has left its mark in the global aviation industry. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is now among the top 20 busiest airports in the world, climbing up from number 69 over a decade ago.

To date, it has registered growth of 9.1% year-on-year. Combined, KLIA and klia2 cater to more than 60 airlines, serving more than 120 destinations.

From a shareholders return perspective – Malaysia Airports’ total shareholder return over the last decade was more than 500% and this marks its position as the second top performing GLC in this area. Its market capitalisation has grown more than six times over the same period.

Since the company had achieved its milestones, it has a new vision. A vision that would take it to the next level, in line with the evolution of the world’s top airports, like Schiphol, Amsterdam.

MAHB’s current vision of becoming a global leader in creating airport cities fits perfectly with its business direction whereby focus is placed on growing its commercial and non-aeronautical revenue.

The airport operator’s klia2 dedicated low cost terminal which can handle 45 million passengers per annum, will be the cornerstone of the KLIA Aeropolis. This allows it to attract traffic to KLIA by capitalising on prevailing market trends in the aviation and travel industry.

klia2 was also designed as a destination in itself - not merely as a pass-through terminal. With 225 outlets in the terminal building and a further 180 outlets in gateway@klia2 shopping mall, it most certainly is a shopping haven to both passengers and non-passengers alike.

Data shows that for every two passengers that travel through klia2, there is one non-traveller. Its commercial development is an important contributor in boosting Malaysia Airports’ non-aeronautical revenue.

“The Aeropolis is one of the main pillars of our next five-year business plan – Runway to Success 2020 (RTS2020) – which we will unveil in greater detail come January 2016,” said Datuk Badlisham Ghazali.

“Malaysia Airports was fortunate because the government had the foresight to allocate a 10 x 10 km land bank surrounding KLIA. By virtue of this considerable land bank, we would be in prime position to influence the creation of the KLIA Aeropolis,” he added.

Airports are increasingly important links to global markets and a major factor in a country’s competitiveness. The creation of the airport city allows MAHB to establish a platform for international business and trade which will contribute to Malaysia’s economic development.