The setting up of a permanent Restricted Area over the Pasir Gudang airspace starting Wednesday (2 Jan) will have an “adverse impact on civil aviation”, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT).
In response to media queries regarding the establishment of the restricted area, MOT said on Tuesday (1 Jan) that such an impact will arise as a result of being positioned “within a controlled and congested airspace”.
The Ministry noted that the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) had published a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) “for the purpose of military activities over Pasir Gudang with effect from 2 January 2019”.
“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,” said MOT.
A spokesperson from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed MOT’s announcement of the proposed meeting.
The MFA spokesperson was quoted as saying, in a press release on Tuesday (1 Jan) that Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat “visited Putrajaya, Malaysia on 31 December 2018 to convey a message to Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on behalf of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong”.
It was also noted that Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah will meet in the Republic next Tuesday (8 Jan).
“There are also plans for the Transport Ministers to meet soon,” said the MFA spokesperson.
While MFA’s spokesperson did not elaborate on the specific issues that will be discussed by the two Transport Ministers, Bernama reported Saifuddin as saying on that an issue that “must be given immediate attention is Singapore’s plans for the Seletar Airport which will pass through the airspace over Pasir Gudang”.
“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,” he added.