A low-cost carrier terminal or LCCT (also known as a budget terminal) is a specific type of airport terminal designed with the needs of low-cost airlines in mind. Though terminals may have differing charges and costs, as is common in Europe, the concept of an all-budget terminal was promoted and pioneered by Tony Fernandes of AirAsia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2006.[1]


The former Kuala Lumpur International Airport Low-cost carrier terminal (above) and its interior (below). It was replaced by klia2 on May 2014.

In some cases, the designs of a low-cost carrier terminal mimic old designs of an airport terminal, such as the former airport of Hong Kong, Kai Tak Airport. With a stripped-down airport terminal, airports can reduce daily operating costs significantly, thereby passing along the savings to budget airlines and ultimately their passengers. It specifically entails cost reductions from normal airports in terms of:

However these terminals may also have modern facilities such as free Wi-Fi, and be comfortably air conditioned. A German study (Swanson 2007) of costs showed that at Malaysia's KLIA and Changi LCCTs, airlines were charged roughly 2/3 to 3/4 the total cost of landing at the main terminal; for budget-sensitive carriers, any savings advantage can be critical.[4]

Klia2 billed as the world's largest purpose-built terminal dedicated to low-cost carriers, is designed to cater for 45 million passengers a year with future capacity expansion capability. Built at a cost of US$1.3 billion, klia2 started commercial operations on May 2, 2014, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

Realisation of the projects

While the concept of a simple basic terminal in theory would lower costs, in practice, it can be turned into a pork barrel project such as klia2.

When klia2 was first proposed MAHB said it would cost MYR2 billion, a figure that was later revised to MYR2.6 billion. Then came news that the terminal would cost MYR4 billion, double the original estimate. Now there’s talk that the bill could go as high as MYR5 billion. That makes no sense – the low-cost terminal will now cost much more than KLIA. Yes, I asked for a new terminal but one that has simple facilities. Did it have to cost 20 times our present LCCT?

— Tony Fernandes, on klia2.

Budget terminals also have to consider if they only serve budget airlines or all airlines. In this way, a terminal can essentially "lose its budget identity".[1] In the case of Macau airport, "from an airport perspective, having a separate LCCT is frequently more expensive than having one terminal for all carrier types because of the need to duplicate services and systems including check-in, security and immigration."[1] In the case of KLIA2, Malaysia Airports has instructed Airasia in 2016 that the overbudget terminal isn't a LCCT terminal at all.[5]

List of existing/expanding budget terminals


Asia & Oceania

North & South America

List of proposed budget terminals


  1. ^ a b c "Low cost airport terminals still popular in Asia Pacific but declining in significance in Europe". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  2. ^ Mukherjee, Sharmistha (5 July 2014). "Centre to focus on low-cost airports along tourist circuits". Business Standard. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ http://www.fzt.haw-hamburg.de/pers/Scholz/ALOHA/ALOHA_PUB_DLRK_09-09-08.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ http://www.fzt.haw-hamburg.de/pers/Scholz/arbeiten/TextLunTan.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ "Malaysia Airports quashes AirAsia's LCCT2 plans - Nation - The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Progonati: Aeroporti i Kukësit 100% operacional, është projektuar low cost" [Progonati: Kukës Airport is 100% operational, it is designed low cost] (in Albanian). Albanian Telegraphic Agency. 18 April 2021.
  7. ^ "New low cost terminal inaugurated at Marseille - Aviation24.be". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Les vols low cost et régionaux ont désormais leur nouveau hall à l'aéroport Toulouse-Blagnac". ladepeche.fr (in French). Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  9. ^ "TERMINAL F LAUNCH. A NOTICE FOR PASSENGERS". Boryspil Airport. 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  10. ^ "Soekarno-Hatta Airport Set to Open Indonesia's First Low-Cost Carrier Terminal". 29 April 2019.
  11. ^ Chris Cooper (5 April 2012). "Tokyo's Narita to Build Low-Cost Carrier Terminal by 2015". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Airport executives mull new terminal for low-cost flights". 17 October 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Local News". Sun.Star. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Central Japan International Airport president: LCCT could enter service in 1H2013". Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Airport expansion would separate FIFO, budget travellers". Brisbane Times. 2013-06-17. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Gov't plans to build low-cost terminal near NAIA-3". ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  17. ^ "China looks to support low-cost carrier development while ensuring a good passenger experience | APEX Editor's BlogAPEX Editor's Blog". Archived from the original on 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-11-26.