Friday September 21, 2012
MMEA’s plan to have permanent airbases in all critical areas
By RINTOS MAIL
KUCHING: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has planned to set up another five more permanent airbases in the country.
Its air operation branch director First Admiral Datuk Zammani Mod Amin said to date they only had one airbase in Subang.
He said the other five proposed airbases would be located here, in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Kuala Lumpur and Kerteh (Terengganu).
He said the permanent airbases were necessary to increase MMEA’s efficiency.
“The airbase is for the maritime enforcement agency’s aircraft to operate from.
”Having a single airbase in Subang is not enough and we should have one on every critical area, especially where oil and gas transportation activities usually take place,” he told a press conference after the MMEA Bombardier CL415MP aircraft landed safely on Muara Tebas waters near here yesterday.
The aircraft came from Miri after a surveillance mission to several coastal areas there, before leaving for Subang.
First Admiral Zammani said there was no immediate plan yet to base its amphibious Bombardier CL415MP aircraft in Sarawak.
He, however, said the aircraft would be used to beef up efforts to keep the waters in the state safe from intrusions on an occasional basis.
The Canadian-made aircraft is equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance suite that includes two side-looking airborne radars, a forward-looking infra-red radar, an airborne maritime surveillance system and other avionics and communications equipment.
Meanhile, the aircraft’s ability to fly at low speed and low alti- tude with great manoeuvrability and to land on water also makes it an ideal aircraft for coastal patrol missions.
The Bombardier CL415MP aircraft also offers unique multi-mission capabilities for a wide range of missions as it combines the capabilities of a traditional surveillance aircraft with the added benefit of being able to execute direct interventions on water.
The multi-purpose Bombardier CL415MP can be used in a variety of specialised missions such as search and rescue, environmental protection, coastal patrol and transportation. It is fitted with sophisticated sensors to locate and identify vessels, people in distress and pollutants.