The Malaysian Firefly carrier resumed flights to Singapore when the first plane landed at Seletar Airport



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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Malaysian airline Firefly's first flight to Seletar airport landed at 10:53 am Sunday (April 21).

Subang Airport's FY3126 flight landed when the airline resumed service to Singapore after five months due to a disputed airspace between Singapore and Malaysia.

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan received his Malaysian counterpart, Anthony Loke, who was aboard the flight.

There will be two Firefly flights per day between Subang and Seletar airports, from April 22 to 28, followed by six daily flights.

Vaga-lume in Seletar Khaw meets Loke

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan welcomes Malaysian colleague Anthony Loke, who arrived at Seletar airport on the Firefly flight. (Photo: Lip Kwok Wai)

The airline suspended its flights to Singapore in December last year after failing to get approval from the Malaysian aviation regulator to transfer its operations from Changi Airport to Seletar Airport.

Malaysia opposed the procedures of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) in use at Seletar Airport, saying it restricted the construction of tall buildings in Johor's Pasir Gudang.

However, Singapore said ILS simply puts existing flight routes on paper, making safety rules clearer and more transparent. The Singapore Transport Ministry (MOT) has also stated that the procedures do not impose any additional impact on other airspace users as well as companies and residents in Johor.

After months of negotiations, Malaysia suspended its permanent restricted area on Pasir Gudang indefinitely, while Singapore withdrew its ILS procedures at Seletar Airport, paving the way for Firefly to resume operations.

The ILS procedure refers to an airport-assisted navigation aviation facility that provides vertical and horizontal orientation to pilots while the flight is descending and approaching the runway.

The ILS would have allowed pilots to land in all weather conditions, even when visibility was low. It was put into practice at Firefly's request.

Singapore and Malaysia, instead, will work together to develop GPS-based instrument approach procedures for Seletar Airport.

Prior to the suspension, Firefly offered 20 daily flights between Singapore and Subang, Ipoh and Kuantan.

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