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Indonesia, Singapore Look Forward to ICAO Approval of New Airspace Arrangements

March 17, 2023, 12.11 PM

JAKARTA, – Indonesia’s President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong looked forward to approval from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the new arrangements under the Flight Information Regions (FIR) agreement between both countries.

This was disclosed after they held a Leaders’ Retreat on Thursday, March 16 in Singapore, according to a statement provided by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs via its embassy in Jakarta.

The Straits Times reported that the agreement on airspace management, along with an agreement on defense cooperation and another on the extradition of fugitives, was concluded in 2022 when the leaders met in Bintan. The three agreements collectively come under an expanded framework between both countries.

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The aforementioned agreements will officially begin on a mutually agreed date after the ICAO gives its approval for the new airspace arrangements.

The Singapore FIR, which air traffic controllers here have managed since 1946, currently covers the airspace over Indonesia’s Riau and Natuna islands.

Under the FIR agreement, this airspace will come under the Jakarta FIR, but Singapore will be delegated to continue providing air navigation services in portions of this airspace for 25 years.

“The resolution of these longstanding issues is a testament to the strength and maturity of our bilateral relations,” the ministry’s statement said.

Both leaders reaffirmed the excellent state of relations between Singapore and Indonesia. They agreed that the bilateral relationship had strengthened substantially over Jokowi's two terms as President, providing a solid foundation to develop new areas of cooperation that are deep, multifaceted, forward-looking, and mutually beneficial for future generations.

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Prime Minister Lee and President Jokowi affirmed that bilateral relations are on strong footing and agreed to deepen cooperation in sustainable and forward-looking areas of mutual interest.

To this end, the Leaders’ witnessed the exchange of six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) in emerging sectors such as the digital economy, sustainability, and human capital development, as well as in traditional areas like security.

These areas of collaboration and exchanges will augment existing expertise, strengthen interpersonal ties, and anchor positive relations between the two countries' peoples.

Prime Minister Lee and President Jokowi also discussed Indonesia’s priorities for its ASEAN Chairmanship. They exchanged views on the situation in Myanmar, and the roadmap for Timor-Leste’s membership.

Prime Minister Lee reiterated Singapore’s full support for Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship.
Prime Minister Lee thanked Jokowi for his contributions to the bilateral relationship, and they reaffirmed their commitment to taking relations to new heights.


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