Seletar airport can help boost tourism to Malaysia

As experts have addressed many of the Malaysian transport authorities' claims regarding the Instrument Landing System (ILS) over Pasir Gudang, do Transport Minister Anthony Loke and his colleagues have any other concerns about the system? (New landing system doesn't impose new height restrictions: Experts; Dec 13).

The ILS seeks to further enhance the safety of the port area, not imperil it.

It is an important guide, not a decree, that is amendable to the informed judgment of airline pilots, as well as any changes and future developments on the ground.

Above all, it does not impinge on Malaysia's sovereignty.

Perhaps Malaysia should share the developments it has in store for Pasir Gudang, as well as all other flight paths for Firefly to commence its turboprop operations between Subang and Seletar in the safest and most sustainable way.

There is no turning back to Changi for Firefly as the world's leading airport for passenger traffic is being transformed to cater to the operations of big planes for better safety and efficiency.

Just as the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport complements Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the Klang Valley area of Peninsula Malaysia, Seletar Airport may cooperate with Johor's Senai Airport in synergy with Changi Airport to bolster tourism, transport and logistics within the Singapore-Johor-Riau growth triangle.

Such cooperation can potentially trigger the transformation of Pasir Gudang/Tanjung Puteri/Desaru area in East Johor into a lifestyle enclave.

For example, these areas can become a leading cruise destination in partnership with Singapore, backed by a cruise-ferry terminal at Pasir Gudang which services the islands off the east coast of Malaysia, the Indonesia Riau islands, and of course the city-state.

Above all, collaboration between Malaysia and Singapore across several sectors can only enhance ties and the economies of two near neighbours.

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2018, with the headline 'Seletar airport can help boost tourism to Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe