Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Minister for Defence (a) whether there are alternative flight paths for jets taking off from Paya Lebar Airbase that do not require flying over Sengkang and Punggol; and (b) if so, whether the Ministry will consider using these alternative flight paths to reduce the impact on residents in these estates.
Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen:
The departure flight path of our Air Force's aircraft from Paya Lebar Air Base (PLAB) has been carefully designed, with population safety and airspace constraints being the key considerations. For safety reason, the aircraft take off from PLAB towards the North, as the area to the immediate North of PLAB is much less populated compared to that to the immediate South. Soon after taking off, the aircraft have to bank a sharp left in order to avoid flying into foreign airspace to the North and affecting Changi Airport's air traffic to the East. The turn continues towards the South to avoid Seletar Airport in the West. Any alternative departure flight path from PLAB would incur higher population safety risk at take off, or enter the airspace of our neighbour or around our airports.