Three unmarked Boeing 747 passenger jets that have been sitting at the international airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for more than a year could soon be auctioned off.
That's according to ads the airport placed in The Star, one of the country's largest English daily newspapers, and The Sin Chew Daily on Monday.
"If you fail to collect the aircraft within 14 days of the date of this notice, we reserve the right to sell or otherwise dispose of the aircraft pursuant to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 and use the money raised to set off any expenses and debt due to us under the said regulations," the ad said. (The year 1996 is a mistake, the act was established in 1969).
An airport official told Bloomberg that they know who owns the three 747-200F planes, but that the entity is not cooperating to move the planes.
"We have been in communication with the so-called owner, but they have not been responding to take away the aircraft. That's why we go through this process to legalize whatever actions we want to take," Zainol Mohd Isa, general manager of Malaysia airports, told Bloomberg. "We want to clear the area, we want to utilize our parking bay."
In a statement, Malaysia Airports explained the move, suggesting that the owner of the planes is a defunct foreign company.
"The giving of such notice by way of advertisement is a common and reasonable step in the process of debt recovery especially in cases where the company concerned has ceased operations and is a foreign entity whereby exhaustive steps undertaken to find a contact person have not been successful.
"This step is also a common process undertaken by airport operators all over the world when faced with such a situation."
In fact, this isn't the first time abandoned planes have been put on the auction block. Last summer, The Philippine Star reported that some 12 unclaimed planes at the Manila airport were being sold.
Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Honrado said officials had repeatedly notified the owners of the aircraft to dismantle their planes in order to "decongest" the aviation area.
The abandoned planes in Manila — five McDonnell Douglas DC-9s; an Antonov AN-26B; three McDonnell DC-3s; a Cessna 150; a Grumman America AA-IA Yankee; and a Super Constellation — were much smaller than the three 747s left in the Kuala Lumpur airport.