Indonesia, Singapore Agree on FIR Negotiation
Date 9 Oktober 2019
Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan has announced that there are no more crucial problems which hamper the negotiation on Flight Information Region (FIR) between Indonesia and Singapore.
“We have discussed the issue thoroughly including, the one related to past agreements such as the DCA (Defense Cooperation Agreement),” Luhut told reporters at the Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore, Tuesday (9/10).
Earlier in a press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that Indonesia had accepted the framework for Flight Information Region (FIR) negotiations agreed by Singapore.
“Indonesia appreciates Singapore which understands Indonesia’s want to oversee its own airspace,” President Jokowi said at a joint press conference with Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore, Tuesday (8/10).
Indonesia’s technical team, President Jokowi continued, has also begun negotiations on this. “We encourage immediate negotiations to achieve faster results,” he said.
Meanwhile, Luhut expressed hope that the negotiations can be finalized by the end of this year. “Let’s finish it quickly as there are no more issues,” he said.
The Coordinating Minister also stressed that the FIR problem had existed for 45 years, while the DCA was initiated in 2007; thus, he considered that the problems must be solved as soon as possible with win-win solution for both countries.
In the meantime, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi maintained that the framework for negotiation of the FIR rearrangement was signed on 12 September 2019, while technical teams from Indonesia and Singapore had met on 7 October 2019.
“The Indonesian team has conveyed the proposal to Singapore and President Jokowi has instructed them to push for the meeting so a conclusion can be reached soon,” she said.
Furthermore, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi – who were at the press statement – emphasized that his Ministry has been working hard to renew the FIR for nearly two years.
“The framework has been approved and we already have a Term of Reference. Director General of Air of Ministry of Transportation also had discussions with Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this particular issue,” he said.
For the record, FIR in Riau Islands province of Indonesia started during the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention held in Dublin, Ireland, in 1946 when Singapore was then considered 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.
Today, Indonesia would like to take over the FIR based on Indonesian Law No. 1 of 2009 on Aviation which states that 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. (RSF / GUN / ES)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Edited by: M. Ersan Pamungkas