PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will soon be able to fully manufacture its first seaplane after the approval of relevant bodies are received, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The Transport Minister said that he had met with Delta Aerospace Sdn Bhd CEO Michael E. Roche to get updates on the progress of the seaplane on Thursday (June 2).
“They are now in the process of applying for the necessary technical certifications.
“If all goes well, they will be eligible to apply for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approval in the United States via the Bilateral Air Safety Agreement (BASA) in place between the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) and FAA since 1998,” he said on Facebook.
He added that the seaplane must fulfil CAAM regulatory requirements, in particular, to comply with the draft regulations on seaplanes.
The eight-seater amphibious aircraft, dubbed the LA-8, could be used in air search and rescue, maritime patrol, tourism and even for military purposes, Dr Wee said.
“I hope Delta Aerospace and other similar industry players can grow the ecosystem for seaplanes within Malaysia as MOT (Transport Ministry) and CAAM are now studying a proposal by a private company to build Malaysia's first seaplane port in Pengerang, Johor.
“We also encourage more foreign direct investments (FDI) in aviation. With the right moves, Malaysia could participate more meaningfully in these markets and generate jobs,” he said.