Transport minister eyes Malaysia for Asia-Pacific aerospace hub

Asia
Transport Minister Anthony Loke leaves the Full Flight Simulator Centre in Subang August 6, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Transport Minister Anthony Loke leaves the Full Flight Simulator Centre in Subang August 6, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SUBANG JAYA, Aug 6 — Putrajaya is banking on Subang Jaya to play a central role in becoming the aerospace and aviation hub for the Asia-Pacific region.

Launching the new regional helicopter completion and delivery centre for Airbus here today, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said a large investment strategy has been put in place in the suburban Selangor town and an announcement will be made in the near future.

“The aerospace industry is not only an MRO and completion centre. There are thousands of components used that comes from different sources,” he said, using the abbreviation for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

“For every Airbus aircraft, there is something that is produced from Malaysia as we have the factory,” he told a press conference here.

The new facility marks the expansion of the European MNC, said to be the second biggest aerospace and aviation corporation worldwide, in Malaysia.

Emphasising the importance of the aerospace industry in the region, Loke said the market is expanding as there is an increase of demand from the oil and gas sector.

Loke said other services, such as the medical industry, as well as certain individuals, utilising helicopters for their work or personal use.

“The main sector is from the oil and gas. Of course for individuals, they are the VVIP.

“If the ministers, we cannot afford to buy helicopters. One cost about US$3 million (RM12.6 million). Ministers cannot afford it on our salary,” Loke quipped.

Earlier in his opening speech, Loke said there is greater growth over the next two decades of all aircraft types in the region, particularly for commercial and helicopters.

He said the government has identified aerospace as a strategic industry with huge potential to help the country’s industrialisation and technological development.

He added that there is currently over 9,000 helicopters in the Asia Pacific region, and 200 in Malaysia.

Airbus Malaysia head Raymond Lim, who was present at the launch, said the company has delivered four helicopters this year, and aims to add another three by year end.

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