MAHB tender to replace Aerotrains at KLIA: Shortlisted bidders identified, evaluation now at final stage

MAHB tender to replace Aerotrains at KLIA: Shortlisted bidders identified, evaluation now at final stage
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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said the KL International Airport’s (KLIA) Automated People Mover (APM) tender to replace its ageing Aerotrains is now at the final stage of the evaluation process.

In a statement, the airport operator said it had identified a final shortlist of bidders after completing the technical evaluation stage, with those shortlisted now being evaluated on the commercial terms of their offers.

“Malaysia Airports’ tender approach puts priority on first meeting its business objectives, as well as the project’s technical and performance requirements. All submissions are evaluated objectively and fairly according to the set requirements.

“Bidders that do not meet these requirements will not proceed to the final commercial evaluation stage and all unsuccessful bidders thus far have been duly informed on their status,” it said in a statement.

The tender is expected to be concluded over the next couple of months and the group said it will make the appropriate announcement once a formal award is approved by its board of directors.

All three Aerotrains currently in operation in KLIA are due for replacement as the assets are approaching their end-of-life stage, the group said, noting that two of the Aerotrains have been in service since the airport first opened in 1998 with a third train added in 2010.

In the last 20 years, APM technology has evolved significantly, superseding the one currently in use in KLIA and making the maintenance of an ageing asset unviable in terms of operational and cost efficiency, it said.

The tender was floated in July 2020, after MAHB completed three feasibility studies to determine the best possible solution for connecting passengers between the main terminal and satellite buildings in terms of implementation feasibility, sustainability in catering for future terminal expansion, and financial viability.

The airport operator also conducted a series of stakeholder engagements with the Ministry of Transport (MoT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) to gather the necessary feedback.

“Following these, it was recommended that the best possible solution for KLIA was to do a like-for-like replacement of all systems related to the APM.

“The raison-d’etre behind a like-for-like replacement is that it has the advantage of being the least disruptive, as well as the most practical and cost effective. However, it was also determined that the airport should be open to evaluate all other APM technology that is available in the market,” it explained today.

The group said there are generally two main types of APM technology available in the market today involving the train and rail track systems, namely self-propelled and cable-propelled.

For KLIA, there are several criteria that are critical to its business requirements and therefore given more emphasis, one of which is that this new APM system is a brownfield replacement project in a busy airport. The airport is currently using a self-propelled system.

“As such, replacing the trains with similar but newer technology is the least disruptive in terms of operational downtime and infrastructure readiness. Other major criteria include the system’s reliability, availability, ease of maintenance, safety and flexibility in catering to future needs,” it added.

Tan Choe Choe