Update Jan 8: Latest in the ongoing debacle at WSSL/Seletar: Malaysia have now agreed to cancel the restricted airspace they imposed to the north of the airport, and in return Singapore will suspend the ILS procedures it had planned to implement. These measures will be in place for one month, starting Jan 8, to give both countries time to try to find a more permanent solution to the dispute.

The new ILS approach on RWY 21 at WSSL/Seletar airport was due to take effect on 3rd Jan 2019, but Malaysia have effectively killed it. They claim that the ILS approach –most of which lies within Malaysia’s airspace to the north of the airport– would impose height restrictions around the Pasir Gudang industrial area, and would stunt growth in the area.

Malaysia decided to create a no-fly-zone across an entire chunk of airspace just across the border from Singapore, up to 6000ft. This ultimately would have made RWY 21 ILS approaches at WSSL/Seletar impossible.

Malaysia WMFC/Kuala Lumpur restricted airspace as per Notam A4018/18

Singapore and Malaysia’s foreign ministers met on Jan 8 to discuss this mess; Malaysia agreed to cancel the restricted airspace they imposed, and in return Singapore agreed to suspend the ILS procedures.

The two countries have been locked in a wider ongoing dispute over airspace sovereignty, with Malaysia saying it wants to take back airspace delegated to Singapore under an agreement in 1974. But with the recent turn of events at Seletar, there is now a tangible impact to flight operations.

Discussions between the two countries will continue throughout January, but don’t plan on making use of the ILS approach any time soon.

In other news: The night curfew at Seletar is going ahead as planned. Authorities have now published AIP SUP 86/2018 which confirms that with effect from 1st Jan 2019, the airport will be closed to all flights (except medevac and emergency diverts) nightly from 22-07 local time.

Further reading:

  • AIP SUP 79/2018, the official announcement by the Singapore CAA about the new ILS on RWY 21. The instrument approach chart can be found here.