Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI) president Datuk Liew Sew Yee today said that the city did not need a new international airport as the current Sultan Azlan Shah Airport here is fully equipped to take flights from neighbouring countries.
"Our view has been always been that the existing airport is well equipped to facilitate flights from Asean countries as well as also from Southern China and Southern India.
"What we need for now is the further extension of the runway from 2.3km to 3km," he said at the PCCCI Chinese New Year celebration at Weil hotel here.
Liew also said the cost of expanding the runway is much cheaper than building a new airport.
"We understand to achieve that, we need to relocate about 50 houses. The compensation to the property owner affected is far lower than building a new international airport outside Ipoh city, which will take longer time to complete," he added.
Last year October, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu said that the state government will proceed with the intention to build a new airport to attract more foreign tourists.
At the same time, he said the current airport in Ipoh will be upgraded to accommodate bigger aircraft.
Liew also said having an international airport in the city will boost the property market surrounding the airport with development for entertainment, hospitality and other commercial related industries.
"We can leave long-haul flights such as from London and New York to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
"Having an international airport here will be unique and also will attract people to come in and go out conveniently as people like to stay in the city," he said.