PETALING JAYA: A disaster may be waiting to happen, with thousands of lives at risk, if Singapore proceeds to use the disputed Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures for its Seletar Airport, that involves an approach-for-landing flight path that encroaches into Malaysian airspace.

A source told theSun this was because it would be very hazardous to approach Seletar by flying over Pasir Gudang, with the flight path directly over several chemical plants in the area, including two that produces chlorine.

The use of ILS would bring an aircraft 3,000ft or lower over Pasir Gudang as it approaches to land at Seletar.

ILS guides pilots when landing during bad weather or low visibility conditions.

“It could be a (potential) disaster should there be a mishap and a plane hits or drops a part onto a chlorine holding tank or pipeline,“ said the source.

“The result would be catastrophic, and the death toll would be unimaginable. It can run into the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.”

The source said the two chlorine plants were built in the 1990s when it was deemed safe because there were no planes flying over the area, where there are also petrochemical plants.

“Since the plants have been there for more than 20 years, Singapore should have been aware of this danger. But it looks like they do not seem bothered about the danger (posed) to those living near the area.

“If there is a serious leak, chlorine gas can kill you because your lungs (would) dissolve and you won’t be able to breathe. Even if you are given oxygen, it will not be of any help,“ he said.

“Since chlorine gas is about two-and-a-half times heavier than air, the vapours from liquefied chlorine will sink to ground level and spread quickly and the authorities will not be able to react quickly enough, especially if the wind helps to spread the gas.”

Two weeks ago, Malaysia protested Singapore’s new ILS runway approach protocol at Seletar Airport, which is due to commence on Jan 3.

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