Operations at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) returned to normal after it was hit by technical glitch for four days straight since August 21. Due to the major system disruption. it caused long queues and flight delays and the airport had to rely on manual handling.
The operations back to normal due to network equipment replacement on Aug 23 as announced by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB). Due to the technical glitch occurred for four days, the airlines will be seeking compensation from airport operator MAHB.
The tech glitch caused troubles for the airline industry and passengers too
According to the news, one airline CEO said the cost to his airline during the four days was over RM6mil and another airline is seeing losses of above RM10mil. Most flights were delayed for long periods of time, causing the airline to incur the cost to accommodate the four days delays.
This major network disruption didn’t only affect the airlines but passengers too. Some had also cancelled their flights and are asking for refunds. Passengers also had to wait a longer time than usual and caused them stressed since Wednesday night.
MAHB had to resort to manual
A system failure caused MAHB having to resort to manual as in getting passengers on their flights. The source said the core switch is part of the Total Airport Management System which is an integrated airport management system used to interface and integrate the majority of electronic information within the airport for services; such as check-in, baggage, WiFi, flight information display systems, communications systems, credit card transactions and several others.
It was an old system and need to be upgraded
The core switch was an old system that was due for an upgrade in 2012-2014. Despite several requests by management to get it upgraded, it was not approved by the board as the cost for the core switch to be upgraded was summed to be about RM50mil. The amount would be much higher. The airport system has a back-up but it could not withstand the overloading and resulting in the chaos.
Government to form a task force to investigate the system’s failure
According to Transport Minister Anthony Loke, a task force has been set up to investigate the breakfown of the the Total Airport Management System at KLIA. The six-members are Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) executive chairman Dr Nungsari Ahmad Radhi, Mavcom commissioner Datuk Seri Long See Wool, Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) member Afzal Abdul Rahim, CAAM chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Nizar Zolfakar, and National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) CEO Md Shah Nuri Md Zain. The task force will be chaired by the Ministry of Transport secretary-general Datuk Mohd Khairul Adib Abdul Rahman.
MAHB has to bear hundreds of millions of ringgit loss
MAHB has to fork out compensation to airlines and also passengers. Its overall cost includes the hardware change could be mounted into hundreds of millions of ringgit. Besides the core switch upgrade, some felt that the total baggage system also need an upgrade. KLIA which is an international gateway, need to do something to avoid any future problems. We could afford any disruption as the country is promoting Visit Malaysia Year 2020 and such systems failure could have an impact on tourist arrivals.