SUBANG: Selangor plans to focus on the business and general aviation segment of the aerospace industry as these sectors were proven to be resilient to the impacts of the pandemic.
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari(pix) said an example of a resilient segment of the aviation industry during the pandemic was air cargo operations, but not all airlines or operators had the capabilities or resources to tap into this in-demand market, while business and general aviation was the other.
“The state already has a diamond in the rough with Subang Airport, so, we are determined to help unlock the potential of the airport to support and sustain growth in the business and general aviation industry, as well as other aviation activities.
“Selangor has always put much emphasis on the aerospace industry. With two major airports in the state, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Subang, we have the highest air traffic volume in the country and is naturally the best-equipped location-wise and resources-wise for this industry to thrive,” he said during his online speech in conjunction with the Selangor Aviation Show 2021 (SAS 2021) to be held from Nov 25 to 27, 2021.
According to the Global Jet Capital report, there were 1.8 million business jet flights in operation worldwide between January to July 2021, a 49 per cent increase over the same period in 2020.
“More importantly, the number of flights for the same period in pre-pandemic 2019 was 1.79 million, which meant we are now seeing current flight activity for business jets surpassing even 2019 levels.
“Meanwhile, about US$13.88 billion (US$1=RM4.21) worth of business jets were transacted worldwide from January to July 2021, compared to US$14.10 billion in the same period pre-pandemic in 2019.
“This is an extremely encouraging sign for the segments, considering that the commercial airlines, airports and tourism industries are only expected to get close to full recovery by 2024 or later,” he said.
Therefore, he said, the challenge is to grow flight activities here and to attract more international business jet arrivals to Malaysia, particularly to Subang Airport, an effort that needs all hands on deck.
Besides that, Amirudin said increasing flight activities will also boost the supply chain of the aviation industry ecosystem in the state, among them are the ground service providers, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), as well as engineering service providers, flight crew organisations, training providers and those from the legal, financial and taxation professions.
Apart from business jets and helicopters, Selangor also sees growth in the drone industry, particularly in the commercial drone subsector, he said.
“Acceptance of such commercial drones in service for multiple economic and social sectors are increasing rapidly with substantial demand and interest,” he added.-Bernama