Asia Aerospace City takes shape

Asia Aerospace City takes shape

WORLD-CLASS: Pelaburan MARA to develop RM2b edu-biz park with UK’s Atkins  Global.

PELABURAN MARA Bhd has enlisted the service of UK’s Atkins Global to develop  its Asia Aerospace City (AAC) in Subang into a world-class facility to churn out  industry-ready human capital.

Atkins Global – the official engineering design services provider to  the London 2012 Olympic Games – will act as the lead consultant and master  planner  of the project which is estimated to have a gross development  value of RM2 billion.

Pelaburan MARA, which is Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (MARA) investment and  asset management company, will take a lead role as the master developer of the  AAC.

The signing ceremony between the two parties was witnessed by Prime  Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak here yesterday.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal  said the project signifies MARA’s commitment in fulfilling the aspirations of  the government to develop the engineering services sector as one of the Entry  Point Projects of the Economic Transformation Programme.

MARA conceptualised the AAC – an educational and business park – as a  platform for seamless interaction between academic institutions and industry  players as part of MARA’s strategy to prepare an industry-ready human  capital.

“The vision is much more than just an edu-biz development project. It  is to create an iconic and state of-the-art world-class facility as home for  global players in engineering services, particularly in the aerospace industry.  It is a place where we fulfil industry demand for skilled human capital,” he  said at the signing of agreement between Pelaburan MARA and Atkins Global.

Pelaburan MARA was represented by its chief executive officer Nazim  Rahman while Atkins Asia Pacific CEO Chris Birdsong signed on behalf of Atkins  Global. Also present was Pelaburan MARA chairman Datuk Sohaimi Shahadan.

AAC will be a smart city with a range of integrated facilities like  offices, cutting-edge R&D facilities, academic campuses, a convention centre  and a residential component.

Pelaburan MARA aims to transform the AAC into a premier edu-biz park  for aerospace industry-related engineering services.

Nazim told reporters that the project will take three years to  complete.

“The design stage starts from now until July … earthworks are  scheduled to start in early 2015,” he said.

Atkins Global is a design, engineering and project management  consultant based in the United Kingdom.

Malaysia currently has about 200 aerospace-related organisations with  an estimated combined earnings of over RM27.5 billion, with some 54,000  employees.

It has been reported that Airbus has launched its “Power 8” programme  to strengthen its global network as it is anticipating 40 per cent of passenger  aircraft sales to be concentrated in the Asian region by 2020.

Similarly, the European Aerospace Defence and Space Company (EADS)  reportedly plans to invest US$250 million  (RM825 million) in Malaysia  within the same time frame.

These developments will open up opportunities for Malaysia to engage  in and undertake aircraft design work, against the projected US$1 trillion  global aerospace industry by 2020.

Earlier, the prime minister officiated at the Menara MARA in  conjunction with MARA’s 48th anniversary.

— Business Times, 4 March 2014