14 Juli 2011
Sungai Besi airbase (photo : euveng)
KUALA LUMPUR: All flights to and from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Sungai Besi are expected to cease by year-end.
The government notified the Defence Ministry about contractor IMDB moving in and organising development works for the base and the surrounding area.RMAF chief Gen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said it had been notified to move its air operations out of the base, popularly known as Sempang among aviators, to the RMAF base in Subang and other facilities, pending the development of a new base in Sendayan, Negri Sembilan, next year.
Rodzali said: "We have been told to plan for the relocation as early as Nov 30.
"In fact, we have moved all our fixed-wing (airplane) operations to Subang and other bases. "The remaining rotary-wing (helicopter) operations, involving the 10 Squadron, will move to Subang."
The Department of Civil Aviation will close the airspace above the base and its surroundings, making the runway redundant.Rodzali said: "As of now, there are no more fixed-wing flights at the Sungai Besi base, except the light aircraft of the Royal Selangor Flying Club and the helicopter operations of the Royal Malaysian Police's Air Unit."He said this after presenting excellent service certificates to 224 of the 1,074 officers and men from air force facilities in the Klang Valley at the Sungai Besi base yesterday.
Police may move their operations to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang. IMDB will set up a project development centre once the runway is completely closed .It is the prime contractor of a consortium, which includes the Armed Forces Superannuation Fund, that will develop the 160ha base, surrounded by the Sungai Besi Highway, Taman Seputeh and Istana Negara, into the multi-billion ringgit upscale Bandar Malaysia project.Other facilities at the base include the RMAF's logistics headquarters and No. 1 Air Division, bunkered-air defence operations centre, an army artillery unit, an equestrian club, a shooting range, RMAF Museum, Institute of Aviation Medicine and quarters for senior officers.