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CAAS, CAAM to meet this week to discuss new GPS-based system for Seletar Airport: Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan

The civil aviation authorities from both Singapore and Malaysia will be meeting some time this week to discuss the implementation of the new Global Positioning System (GPS)-based system procedures, which is bound to replace Singapore’s contentious Instrument Landing System (ILS), said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Anthony Loke at Seletar Airport last Sun (21 Apr), Khaw added that he is confident that “it can be done pretty soon”.

Loke estimated that the new GPS-based system will be implemented within “the next six to 12 months”.

“The GPS approach is something we have agreed upon. And we are looking forward to Firefly working towards that in a timely manner,” The Star Online reported him as saying.

The press conference was held following a welcoming ceremony for Malaysian low-cost carrier Firefly’s Flight FY3126’s landing at Seletar Airport around 10.50 a.m., which carried Loke and 70 other passengers on board.

With FY3126, Firefly has resumed its operations to Singapore, and will be operating two flights daily between Subang Airport and Seletar Airport starting this week.

The Straits Times reported that the frequency of outbound and inbound Firefly flights between Subang and Singapore will be increased to six flights a day in the following months.

Seletar Airport, said Khaw, would benefit Firefly, as it will most likely not have to face the competition and congestion taking place daily at Changi Airport.

Khaw also mentioned that Loke’s presence in the Firefly flight on Sun “signals the strong bilateral relations between our two countries and ministries”, and that he intends to reciprocate his counterpart’s gesture in time.

Earlier this month on 8 Apr, the two Transport Ministers held a joint conference at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, announcing that both Singapore and Malaysia “will introduce GPS-based instrument approaches from both the north over Pasir Gudang and south over Singapore island”.

“This is because”, he explained, “airplanes take off and land into the wind”, and “with north-east and south-west wind directions at different times of the year, both approaches are needed”.

Khaw added that the GPS-based instrument approach procedures will be published as soon as the system is finalised.

“We have to discuss, both regulators have to sit down and discuss it. And once that’s settled, we should be able to publish. I personally don’t see many obstacles,” CNA quoted him as saying.