SINGAPORE: Malaysian budget carrier Firefly’s first flight to Seletar Airport touched down at 10.53am on Sunday (Apr 21).
Flight FY3126 from Subang Airport landed as the airline resumed services to Singapore after five months due to an airspace dispute between Singapore and Malaysia.
Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan welcomed his Malaysian counterpart Anthony Loke who was on board the flight.
There will be two Firefly flights a day between Subang and Seletar Airports from Apr 22 to 28, followed thereafter by six daily flights.
The airline had suspended its flights to Singapore in December last year after failing to obtain approval from Malaysia’s aviation regulator to move its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport.
Malaysia had opposed the Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures in use at Seletar Airport, saying it restricted the construction of tall buildings at Johor’s Pasir Gudang.
However, Singapore has said that the ILS simply puts on paper the existing flight paths, making safety rules clearer and more transparent. Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) has also said that the procedures do not impose any additional impact on other airspace users as well as businesses and residents in Johor.
After months of negotiations, Malaysia suspended its permanent Restricted Area over Pasir Gudang indefinitely, while Singapore withdrew the ILS procedures at Seletar Airport, paving the way for Firefly to resume operations.
The ILS procedure refers to an assisted navigational aviation facility at the airport which provides vertical and horizontal guidance to pilots while the flight is descending and approaching the runway.
ILS would have allowed pilots to land in all weather conditions, even when visibility is low. It had been put in place at the request of Firefly.
Singapore and Malaysia will instead work together to develop GPS-based instrument approach procedures for Seletar Airport.
Emcee Lester was the emcee for the firefly inaugural flight.