News on Malaysia-Singapore airspace dispute
Anthony Loke says Malaysia to retake delegated airspace from Singapore in stages

Anthony Loke,
Malaysian Transport Minister

MALAYSIA aims to take back delegated airspace from Singapore around southern Johor in stages beginning from the end of this year to 2023, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

He said it is important for both countries to expedite the review of the Operational Letter of Agreement between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore Area Control Centres Concerning Singapore Arrivals, Departures and Overflights 1974, via the Maĺaysia-Singapore High Level Committee.

With the progress that both parties had made, the transport minister said he was confident that Malaysia and Singapore could reach mutually beneficial solutions in strengthening bilateral cooperation in the aviation and tourism sector.

Anthony Loke was delivering his speech during the inaugural flight of Firefly's FY3126 from Subang Airport to Seletar Airport in Singapore.

He added both Malaysia and Singapore agree on the fundamental principle of resolving issues of concern in a friendly and constructive manner, and to work towards amicable solutions.

Loke noted that the approval for Firefly to fly into Seletar Airport is the result of several agreements on bilateral relations, especially on airspace issues, which he said resulted in a "win-win" situation.

"To enhance the flight safety and efficiency into Seletar Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia are working together towards the GPS-based approach to be implemented in Seletar Airport in the near future, he said.

Anthony Loke said that Firefly will progressively add more points from Peninsular Malaysia and study the feasibility of the resumption of flights to Kuantan, Ipoh, and potentially, Melaka.

Loke also thanked his Singaporean counterpart, Khaw Boon Wan, who was also present at the inauguration of the Firefly's operation into Singapore.

In December 2018, the airline suspended its flights to the island republic after it failed to get approval from the domestic Civil Aviation Authority to move its operation from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport.

This was due to Malaysia's opposition of Seletar's use of Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures, on the grounds that it is an obstacle to constructing tall buildings at nearby Pssir Gudang in Johor.

Following several months of negotiation, Firefly finally managed to resume operations after Malaysia indefinitely suspended its permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang, and Singapore withdrew the ILS procedures at Seletar.

by Fauzi Kadir
Permadu Malaysia
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