KEPALA BATAS: The government, through the Ministry of Local Government Development (KPKT), has approved RM57.695 million for the development of facilities and infrastructure towards strengthening the Air Division of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM).

Deputy Minister of Local Government Development Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said the allocation is part of the Development Expenditure (DE) under the Fourth Rolling Plan (RP4) of the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK12) for the year 2024.

He stated that out of the amount, RM10 million is for the continuation of the construction project of the Subang Air Base office, involving administrative buildings, hangars, logistics sectors, engineering workshops, a heliport, aircraft fuelling stations, and other facilities.

“A sum of RM1.2 million is allocated for the continuation of a project for acquiring special equipment for helicopter rescue, involving 10 parachute units and one set of Underslung Tactical Rescue Platform, while the remaining RM46.495 million is for the physical maintenance projects of helicopters and aircraft refuelling.

“KPKT always takes into account the development of facilities and related infrastructure; hence, these improvements are expected to enhance the functions and essential roles of the Air Division and Air Bases of JBPM,“ he said.

He said this in his speech at the Opening Ceremony of the JBPM’s Northern Region Air Base and the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of its Air Division at the Bertam Northern Region Air Base, here, today.

The opening ceremony was officiated by Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak. Also present was JBPM director-general, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin.

Akmal said that in addition to infrastructure construction, KPKT is also in the process of acquiring four new helicopters, two for the Emergency Medical Air Rescue Services (EMARS) and the other two as replacement for JBPM use.

However, he said that this matter is still in the process of a cost and benefit analysis before taking further action.

Meanwhile, Abdul Wahab stated that the Bertam Air Base is now known as the Northern Region Air Base. It was built on a 40-acre site and cost RM30.5 million.

He said that the base, completed in 2009, is equipped with a hangar building consisting of administrative and flight operations spaces, air unit operation facility spaces, aircraft hangars, aircraft engineering management spaces, Multiskills Team (MUST) management spaces and other facilities. - Bernama