(KLIA, Wednesday): Accompanied by DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Jelutong, Karpal Singh, DAP National Vice Chairman, Ahmad Nor, DAP Deputy Secretary-General and Penang Assemblywoman for Batu Lanchang, Chong Eng and DAP National Organising Secretary and MP for Cheras, Tan Kok Wai, I made an inspection visit of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on the second day of its operations.
Although the KLIA is not as chaotic as yesterday, order has not been totally restored. The highly expensive state-of-the-art Total Airport Management System (TAMS) is still down and has not been fully restored, and this is why passengers wait for over an hour for their baggage after their disembarkation, while most minitors are still blank while the few that operates do not give all the necessary information for all flights.
For instance, when I was outside the international arrival concourse,
the monitor displaying flight arrivals have no remarks about eight flights
scheduled to have arrived between 0710 to 1200 hours, although I
checked at 12.50 p.m. Nobody knows whether these flights have landed on
schedule, delayed or cancelled. These eight flights were:
The KLIA Terminal Manager, Ariffin Rafei gave the DAP leaders an update
of the position of the KLIA. He was unable to say when the Total Airport
Management System (TAMS) which links all computer-based operations could
be fully restored and the KLIA back to normal operations.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad must decide whether the sophisticated state-of-the-art TAMS which plunged the KLIA into total chaos on the first day of operation is Total Airport Management System or Total Airport Mess System.
Malaysia is reputed to be the first country in the world to have introduced TAMS for its international airport. Although in theory TAMS, which integrates a hodge-podge of 27 different computer systems managing/controlling various aspects of KLIA operations is the most state-of-the-art system in the world, it has also a fatal flaw - the tripping of one system would bring TAMS crashing down and paralysing the KLIA, as happened yesterday.
Nobody knows when TAMS would be fully restored, but even after its restoration, there is no guarantee that there would not be frequent crashing of TAMS because of the malfunctioning of one of the 27 different computer systems integrated into it, again causing the total airport mess as happened yesterday.
For purposes of the core functions of the KLIA, i.e. to enable passenger check-ins and arrivals as well as flight departures and landings, five important departments are involved, namely engineering operations centre (EOC), the flight operations centre (FOC), the flight information display system (FIDS), the gate allocation system (GAS) and control tower operations.
The authorities concerned should consider modifying the TAMS so that these five core operations are isolated from other operations to minimise the likelihood of the paralysis of the core operations because of the crashing of TAMS caused by the downing of anyone of the 27 computer systems.
It is clear that the KLIA is not ready for operations and the opening of the KLIA should not have been rushed by extraneous factors of prestige, as to beat the opening of the new Chek Lap Kok international airport in Hong Kong on July 6.
In our discussion with the KLIA terminal manager, we also asked Ariffin to look into the problems of long queues for the taxi ticket counters as well as waiting for taxis and we impressed on him the urgency of making the KLIA people-friendly, as most people feel lost and intimidated by the vastness and the lack of proper and adequate signages to guide the people around the airport.