Home » Aviation, Breaking News » SG objects to restricted area over Pasir Gudang amid airspace tiff with MY

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) on January 1 expressed opposition to the establishment by Malaysia of a permanent restricted area over Pasir Gudang in Johor, Malaysia, even as the two countries’ foreign ministers have set a meeting for January 8 to discuss the airspace dispute.

In a written statement, MOT said, “We have raised with Malaysia our concerns over the Restricted Area’s adverse impact on civil aviation. Singapore has proposed to meet with Malaysia to discuss its establishment of the Restricted Area.”

MOT said that on December 25, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia published a Notice to Airmen informing the aviation community of its establishment of a permanent restricted area for the purpose of military activities over Pasir Gudang “with effect from 2 January 2019.”

“The Restricted Area being within a controlled and congested airspace will impact the existing and normal operations of aircraft transiting through the airspace,” explained the MOT statement.

The announcement of a restricted area over Pasir Gudang comes after Malaysia earlier voiced opposition to the planned implementation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for the northerly approach into Singapore’s Seletar Airport, saying it violated Malaysia’s sovereignty.

In a video clip on his Facebook page on December 11, Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke explained that the flight path used by the ILS will encroach into Malaysian airspace, as Seletar Airport is about 2 kilometers away from Pasir Gudang. The height limits set by the flight path means that buildings and mobile cranes would be in the way of any descending plane’s flight path.

“We protested and declared the airspace a restricted area, and this will be a problem to Singapore. I am confident the issue will be discussed well to find a win-win solution for both countries,” Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah told reporters on January 1.

He said the issue will be discussed during his meeting in Singapore with Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan on January 8.

“There are several issues, but the one that must be given immediate attention is Singapore’s plans for the Seletar Airport which will pass through the airspace over Pasir Gudang, Johor,” Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.

For its part, MOT in a media release dated December 12 denied that the implementation of ILS procedures at the airport was a violation of Malaysian sovereignty and international law and standards.

The MOT said it was the nature of international civil aviation to have flights traverse the airspace of different states. It said this did not entail a violation of the sovereignty of the states being overflown. “The instrument flight procedures for some Malaysian airports also extend into the territories of neighbouring States,” it added.

MOT said that Singapore respected Malaysia’s sovereignty and that “cross-border airspace management is not incompatible with sovereignty.”

Aside from the foreign ministers’ scheduled talk next week, there are also plans for both countries’ transport ministers to meet soon.

The airspace dispute stems from Singapore’s plan to modernize the airspace management of Seletar Airport in order to handle more flights, in view of the growing economy of the region and increasing number of air travelers.

Photo: Terence Ong

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 + five =

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.