Singapore’s and Indonesia’s leaders have signed a new agreement that covers the Flight Information Region (FIR), which Singapore has managed for decades.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian Prime Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Tuesday (25 January) that the agreement between the two countries will ensure that air traffic control services are provided safely while allowing Singapore’s Changi Airport to grow in the long term as an international air hub.
Lee stated the FIR Agreement realigns the FIR limits to be “basically in agreement” with Indonesia’s territorial boundaries, speaking to media after the completion of the 5th Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat in Bintan, Indonesia.
“But secondly, it makes sure that Changi (Airport) is able to operate efficiently, safely and fully, and provide air traffic control services in order to function as an important international airport, and to be able to grow in the long term as an international airport,” he said.
Singapore and Indonesia have agreed to realign the boundary between the Jakarta FIR and the Singapore FIR as part of the FIR Agreement. The provision of air navigation services in areas of the airspace inside the realigned Jakarta FIR will be delegated to Singapore.
This agreement will be in effect for 25 years and may be extended by mutual consent if both parties agree that it is in their best interests.
“The FIR Agreement takes into account International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules and regulations and will be submitted for approval to the ICAO in accordance with an agreed procedure,” according to the Singapore government.
Indonesia has declared its desire to seize management of the FIR above the Riau Islands, which has been handled by Singapore since 1946, as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Singapore has stated repeatedly that the FIR is about the safety and efficiency of commercial aviation traffic, not sovereignty.