Why has Seletar airport become such a sensitive issue?

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Singapore’s ambition to become Southeast Asia’s airport bug may be the reason behind the current standoff with Malaysia over the upgrading of Seletar airport.

Malaysia claims that Singapore’s expansion plans will obstruct its own building projects in the area of Johor as the use of the ILS (Instrumental landing system), which requires a safety buffer and tall buildings would impede aircrafts from landing.

The Malaysians of course object this and suggested that it is unnecessary as pilots would be able to divert from such obstacles and has also prompted the Malaysian Transport Minister, Anthony Locke, claiming that he wished to regain control of the southern Johor airspace.

Singapore’s own Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan thought on the situation as an excuse, “I think the whole situation seems to be using this technical excuse to trigger demand, to change airspace arrangement which was broken by International Civil Aviation Organization long, long ago, which has worked very well, benefitting all stakeholders in this region.”    

Seletar airport is mainly used for private and medical flights along with maintenance purposes as both Bombardier and Rolls-Royce have operations set up at the location which is managed by Changi Airport Group.

It has already extended its runway by 250 meters to support bigger aircrafts and increased its terminal capacity to 700,000 passengers per year.

The group has already announced its plans for an additional terminal by 2030 and a third runway by early 2020 at the main Changi Airport, therefore the plans come to no surprise given that both Bangkok and Jakarta are in the race to extend their own airports as the region’s economic growth has also increased passenger demand.



Source: Smart Trend Team