M’sia, S’pore transport ministers to meet on Jan 24

SINGAPORE • The meeting between the transport ministers of Malaysia and Singapore is expected to be held on Jan 24 to discuss the airspace over Pasir Gudang, Johor.

This was stated by Malaysia’s Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (picture) who was in Singapore since yesterday for a bilateral visit to the republic.

On Jan 8, Malaysia agreed to suspend the restricted area in the airspace over Pasir Gudang, while Singapore will similarly suspend its implementation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for its Seletar Airport.

While here, Azmin has met three Singapore ministers including Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Azmin said Khaw has given several factors and arguments relating to the airspace.

“I will bring this matter to our Transport Minister Anthony Loke. I hope their meeting will be a good beginning to settle the issue as it would give economic benefits to both countries,” he said to Bernama yesterday.

Besides the airspace over Pasir Gudang, Azmin said the room and opportunities for Firefly to get more flight slots via Seletar Airport was also discussed.

“Singapore welcomes with positive attitude to allow Firefly to get more slots, but the ILS issue must be resolved first,” he said.

According to Azmin, this is the best opportunity for Firefly to expand its flight destinations to smaller towns. This will provide economic opportunities to both countries to boost the tourism industry.

“I believe the existing cooperative spirit is a good foundation to resolve matters of interest for the two nations,” he said.

Firefly suspended operations to Singapore from Dec 1, 2018, as it did not have approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia to make the move to Seletar Airport from Changi Airport.

At Changi Airport, Firefly, a full subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, offers 20 daily flights to and from Subang, Ipoh and Kuantan.

Apart from issues related to Firefly, the Rapid Transit System (RTS) project between Woodlands and Johor Baru was also raised by Singapore’s transport minister in the meeting.

The RTS link, which could reduce congestion on the 1km causeway by up to 15%, is scheduled to be completed by 2024. — Bernama / TMR file pix