Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has awarded a $177.57m (RM742.95m) contract to Pestech International Bhd for the construction and delivery of a new automated people mover (APM) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

In a filing, Pestech revealed that its wholly-owned unit Pestech Technology Sdn Bhd has received a letter of award from MAHB for the design, supply, deployment, testing and commissioning of the aerotrain project.

This contract has been bestowed under Option 2, which covers financing, operation, and maintenance of the facility from 2025 to 2034.

Pestech, in collaboration with Bombardier Transportation, will commence the work on the project from March next year.

Under the project, APM vehicles will be replaced, along with communication and signalling systems as well as APM equipment.

The firm will also be responsible for the supply of power, maintenance facilities and equipment, and more.

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In a statement, Pestech said: “The rehabilitation works of the existing 1.2km of APM infrastructure will be implemented whilst the service of the APM between the Main Terminal Building and Satellite A Terminal is to be maintained under minimal interruption during all phases of the project.”

Additionally, the new Aerotrains will be enhanced in terms of security, comfort, appearance, energy consumption, diagnostics, and other areas.

The current Aerotrains have reached their end-of-life stage, carrying over 300 million commuters since the airport launched 23 years ago.

Malaysia Airports managing director Dato’ Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said: “It is no longer feasible to maintain the current Aerotrains. Old assets are more prone to break down and this will inconvenience passengers. They are also running on old technology, making it difficult to get parts.

“The new Aerotrains will be upgraded together with the track system infrastructure, and this will also provide the airport with better operational efficiency.”

In April this year, Alstom won a contract to provide operations and maintenance services for the Skyway APM system at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas, US.