Putrajaya to reclaim airspace from Singapore starting next year

Zurairi Ar
Transport Minister Anthony Loke speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya December 4, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 ― The federal government will seek to reclaim its airspace in phases between 2019 and 2023, after allowing Singapore to use the delegated airspace in southern Johor since 1974.

In addition, it will also send Singapore a protest note over the latter’s decision to operate its instrument landing system (ILS) for the Seletar Airport near the border with Johor, despite opposition by Malaysia.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said in Parliament that Putrajaya has disallowed Singapore from broadcasting the new ILS on November 28 and 29 this year, in order to protect the sovereignty of airspace and development around Pasir Gudang in Johor.

“However, Singapore has broadcast the ILS on December 1, 2018 and will be enforced on January 3, 2019 without the agreement of the Malaysian government. This is against the principle of national sovereignty as accorded under the Convention of Civil Aviation 1944.

“The government, through Wisma Putra, will issue a protest note immediately to Singapore in connection to the breach of this principle of sovereignty,” said Loke during the Minister's Question Time in Dewan Rakyat here.

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim had asked whether the development in his constituency will be affected by the Singapore government’s move to increase commercial flight activities out of Seletar Airport.

Budget airline Firefly had recently suspended its operations after it failed to get the green light from Malaysian authorities to relocate its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport.

Loke and his Singaporean counterpart are expected to address the issue later today.

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