The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia published a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on Christmas day, announcing the setting-up of a permanent Restricted Area (RA) for the “purpose of military activities over Pasir Gudang”.
A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) alerts aircraft pilots of changes in a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight
Singapore had planned to use the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) at Seletar Airport from Jan 3.
Singapore concerned with sudden announcement of airspace restriction
Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Tuesday (Jan 1) that the RA will “impact the existing and normal operations of aircraft transiting through the airspace.”
Said MOT: “On Dec 25, 2018, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia published a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). By this NOTAM, Malaysia has informed the aviation community of its establishment of a permanent restricted area for the purpose of military activities over Pasir Gudang with effect from Jan 2, 2019.”
What is a Restricted Area? Can civil aviation pilots fly over it?
A restricted airspace prohibits civil aviation aircraft from flying over the area. The airspace is typically used by the military.
According to the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): “Restricted areas denote the existence of unusual, often invisible, hazards to aircraft such as artillery firing, aerial gunnery, or guided missiles. Penetration of restricted areas without authorization from the using or controlling agency may be extremely hazardous to the aircraft and its occupants.”
Singapore leaders met with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on New Year’s eve
According to a media release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Jan. 1, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat met with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at Putrajaya.
MFA said: “The two Foreign Ministers will meet on 8 January 2019 in Singapore. There are also plans for the Transport Ministers to meet soon.”
If you need a primer on what’s what, read further:
- Big brother M’sia wants their airspace back from Little brother S’pore – here’s everything you need to know
- S’pore once controlled the entirety of M’sia’s airspace but handed back authority to M’sia in 1973
- M’sia MOT tones down ‘sovereignty’ rhetoric, highlights technical reasons for ILS instead
- Here’s the map of the ‘Permanent Restricted Airspace’ established by Malaysia