Loke: Malaysia to retake delegated airspace from Singapore in stages

Jerry Choong
Loke noted that the approval for Firefly to fly into Seletar Airport is the result of several agreements on bilateral relations which he said resulted in a ‘win-win’ situation. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — 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 Malaysia-Singapore High Level Committee.

“With the progress that we have made, I am confident that both countries can reach mutually beneficial solutions and look forward to strengthening our bilateral cooperation in the aviation and tourism sector,” Loke said in 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.

“This inaugural flight certainly represents a significant milestone in enhancing bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore.

“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.

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

“As the airline seeks to mount seasonal services in leisure markets and islands around Peninsular Malaysia, it will also ramp up its charter services,” he said.

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

In December last year, the airline suspended its flights to the island republic after it failed to get approval from the domestic Civil Aviation Authority to move its operations from Changi Airport to Selatar.

This was due to Malaysia’s opposition of Selatar’s use of Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures, on the grounds that it is an obstacle to constructing tall buildings at nearby Pasir 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.

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