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Singapore Ministry of Transport Statement in Response to Media Queries on Malaysia Ministry of Transport’s Statement of 12 December 2018 on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Procedures for Seletar Airport

12 Dec 2018 Media Replies

1.     In response to media queries on Malaysia Ministry of Transport’s statement of 12 December 2018 on the ILS procedures for Seletar Airport, Singapore Ministry of Transport would like to clarify that Singapore had conveyed at the meeting on 29 November 2018 between CAAM and CAAS, that Singapore would need to put in place instrument flight procedures for both the northerly and southerly approaches into Seletar Airport.

2.     Flight procedures for both directions are necessary because aircraft land and take off into the wind. In this region, winds blow from a north-easterly direction for half of the year, and a south-westerly direction for the other half of the year. Therefore, flight procedures for a southerly approach cannot safely replace all flight procedures for the northerly approach. Hence, CAAS explained to CAAM that in addition to the current ILS procedures for the northerly approaches into Seletar Airport, CAAS will also be implementing instrument flight procedures for the southerly approaches.

3.     Malaysia has further suggested that the implementation of ILS procedures for the northerly approach into Seletar Airport is a “clear violation of Malaysia sovereignty and international law and standards”. This is also not true.

4.     The nature of international civil aviation is such that flights have to traverse the airspace of different States. It is not uncommon for flight procedures to/from airports in one State, especially those near other States, to traverse the territories of neighbouring States. This does 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.

5.     Singapore respects Malaysia’s sovereignty. Cross-border airspace management is not incompatible with sovereignty. The purpose of airspace management is to ensure the safety and efficiency of air traffic. Malaysia had agreed to Singapore’s management of the airspace over Southern Johor in 1973 and a bilateral agreement was signed in 1974 to operationalise this agreement. The ILS procedures for Seletar Airport were published in accordance with Singapore’s responsibilities under the relevant ICAO requirements as well as the bilateral arrangements with Malaysia. Singapore had nonetheless consulted Malaysia since December 2017 in the spirit of goodwill. Malaysia has never raised any objections to the existing flight profile in place for Seletar Airport which the ILS procedures adhere to. They provide an additional tool for the safe and efficient operation of aircraft, for the benefit of all.

6.     In the spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit, we are prepared to discuss Malaysia’s technical concerns in good faith. On 4 December 2018, Malaysia Minister of Transport Anthony Loke stated that Malaysia would be giving Singapore its counterproposal. We look forward to receiving Malaysia’s counterproposal, and would be pleased to meet with Malaysia thereafter.