SINGAPORE: Recent comments by former Indonesian air force officials on the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR) as reported by local media "misrepresent the facts", said Singapore's ambassador to Indonesia in a statement on Monday (Dec 11).
Ambassador Anil Kumar Nayar referred to an article published by MetroTVnews.com on Nov 30.
The article, "Permintah Harus Segera Kendalikan Penerbangan di Langit Kepri" (The government should immediately control flights over KEPRI skies), carried the comments of former Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshal (Ret'd) Chappy Hakim and Chairman of the Air Power Centre of Indonesia Air Vice Marshal (Ret'd) Koesnadi Kardi.
"Their comments, as reported, misrepresent the facts. First the administration of the FIR is not an issue of sovereignty. It is based on operational and technical considerations to provide effective air traffic control services. The paramount priority is aviation safety. This complex issue is under the ambit of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and involves other countries and international users of the busy airspace covered by the FIR," Singapore's ambassador said.
He added that it is "not unusual" for air traffic authorities of one country to provide air traffic management services in the territorial airspace of another country.
"Indonesia, for example, provides air traffic management services in airspace which belongs to other countries."
The ambassador also said that a reported comment by Air Vice Marshal (Ret'd) Koesnadi that Indonesia "currently ... only recieve(s) a small slice of the cake" of Route Air Navigation Services (RANS) charges is untrue.
"All RANS charges that Singapore collects on behalf of Indonesia are remitted to the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Indonesia, less the bank transfer costs. And DGCA Indonesia has always found the accounts to be in order," he added.