President Joko Widodo was accompanied by Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi during a meeting with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Istana Singapura on Tuesday (Oct 8) in connection with the agreement on the framework for negotiation of FIR realignment.
"With regard to the FIR, we, along with the Foreign Ministry, under the coordination of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, have been working for nearly two years now to settle the management of FIR this year as mandated by Mr President Jokowi," Sumadi noted in a written statement released on Wednesday.
The two countries inked the agreement on the framework for negotiation of the FIR on September 12, 2019. The technical teams of both nations met on October 7, 2019, and will hold more intensive meetings in future.
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"Alhamdulillah (thank God), progress has been achieved. The framework was agreed upon, and its term of reference (TOR) has been in place. The director general of air transportation has held discussions with the director general at the Foreign Ministry. Several corrections to the agreement on FIR have been in existence since 1995. Of course, the corrections benefit both sides," he stated.
FIR in Riau Islands Province started during the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention held in Dublin, Ireland, in 1946 when Singapore, which was still the colony of Britain, was viewed as being capable of managing it in terms of equipment and human resources. Since Indonesia proclaimed its independence only in 1945, it was not present at the convention. Consequently, Singapore and Malaysia manage FIR in Riau Islands.
Singapore controls sectors A and C, while Malaysia controls sector B.
In 1995, the two countries had inked an agreement in which the management of FIR in Riau Islands remains under the control of Singapore.
As mandated by Indonesian Law No. 1 of 2009 on Aviation, flight navigation services in the Indonesian air territory delegated to other country through an agreement must be evaluated and taken over by the Indonesian Flight Navigation Institute no later than 15 years after the law was promulgated or in 2024. Related news: Indonesia, Singapore to continue vocational education cooperation