Singapore, Malaysia agree to end months-long airspace dispute

The deal will allow Malaysia Airlines' subsidiary Firefly to start operations at Seletar Airport this month.

    Singapore and Malaysia's transport ministers said the two countries have set up a committee to review the 1974 airspace agreement [File: Tim Chong/Reuters]
    Singapore and Malaysia's transport ministers said the two countries have set up a committee to review the 1974 airspace agreement [File: Tim Chong/Reuters]

    Singapore and Malaysia have reached an agreement to end their months-long airspace dispute, the transport ministers of the two neighbouring countries said in a joint statement on Saturday. 

    Under the deal, Singapore will halt instrument landing system procedures at its Seletar Airport, while Malaysia will open up a restricted area near the countries' border. 

    "Singapore will withdraw the Instrument Landing System procedures for Seletar Airport and Malaysia will indefinitely suspend its permanent Restricted Area over Pasir Gudang," the statement of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Singapore's Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said.

    This will allow Malaysia Airlines' subsidiary Firefly to start operations at Seletar Airport this month, the statement said. Media reports said the airline postponed its plans to fly out of Seletar Airport last year due to the dispute.

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    The dispute began in December when Malaysia said it wanted to take back control of airspace managed by the city-state since 1974, because Singapore's new instrument landing system at Seletar airport involved a flight path over Malaysian airspace.

    The ministers also said in the joint statement that the two countries have set up a committee to review the 1974 airspace agreement.

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad are scheduled to meet on April 8 and 9 in Putrajaya.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies