Indonesia Secures Control Over Natuna Airspace Previously Held by Singapore

Indonesia Secures Control Over Natuna Airspace Previously Held by Singapore
Indonesia Secures Control Over Natuna Airspace Previously Held by Singapore

The Indonesian government, under President Joko Widodo’s leadership, has recently secured control over the airspace covering the Riau Islands and Natuna region, a jurisdiction previously held by Singapore. This airspace was under Singapore’s jurisdiction up to an altitude of 0 – 37,000 feet.

Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, overseeing Maritime Affairs, revealed that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) greenlit the proposal to transfer the Flight Information Region (FIR) from Singapore to Indonesia since January 11, 2024.

“Following a 60-day period after the notification of this change, Indonesia’s airspace (Riau Islands and Natuna), previously under Singapore’s FIR, now falls entirely under Indonesia’s FIR,” he affirmed via his official Instagram account, as reported on Friday (22/3/2024).

Aside from the FIR transition, bilateral agreements on defense cooperation and extradition between Indonesia and Singapore have also been formalized.

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Expressing relief, Luhut highlighted these issues as longstanding bilateral concerns that had yet to be resolved. The successful agreement was attributed to the effective diplomatic engagement between President Jokowi and PM Lee Hsien Long.

“I vividly recall the extensive and intricate negotiations required to expedite the resolution of these three significant issues impacting Indonesia and Singapore’s strategic interests,” he reminisced.

However, he stressed the importance of never compromising national interests.

Following the President’s directive, Luhut prioritized dialogue with all stakeholders, including maintaining open communication with Singapore’s Senior Minister, Teo Che Hean.

This approach proved instrumental in expediting the implementation process. All actions were taken with a firm commitment to strengthening bilateral ties while respecting each nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

With the formal transfer of Singapore’s FIR to Indonesia, the government aims to enhance the safety, competitiveness, and attractiveness of Indonesian airspace for the civil aviation sector.

The effective management of Indonesian airspace, aligned with national interests and international civil aviation service standards, is now within reach.