Air traffic system working fine, says MOT
KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — Putrajaya has denied a new national air traffic control system installed by a company whose board includes a minister's son has been defective since it was introduced on December 13 last year.
The transport ministry said this on Tuesday in reply to a parliamentary question by Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (picture) on the system supplied by Advanced Air Traffic System (AAT).
According to a company search produced by the lawmaker, AAT is half owned by Tirai Variasi, whose largest shareholder is Ikwan Hafiz Jamaluddin, the son of Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis, who is now Special Envoy to the United States with ministerial status.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said in the system cost RM128.4 million and has been "performing well with no incidents caused by it."
"The system supplied by the said supplier fulfils standards recommended by the international regulatory body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)," he said.
Nurul Izzah, who is PKR vice president, had claimed last week the system installed at the National Air Traffic Control Centre (NATCC) was "so flawed controllers revert to the old system of not using radar," putting the lives of millions of passengers at risk.
"It is definitely dangerous if radar is not functioning properly because plane positions are wrong," she had said, although she added mitigating measures could be taken by controllers of Malaysia's airspace which serves hundreds of millions of passengers annually.
In a press conference today, Nurul Izzah demanded the transport ministry reveal why the RM128.4 million air traffic control system was awarded to a minister's son through a closed tender.
"Is it the norm to award such an important project to a minister's family member?" she asked.
According to documents produced by PKR purported to be correspondence between the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the supplier, the system was rife with errors, including "inconsistency in cleared flight level."
However, one letter, dated December 21, 2011, also show that the contractor promised to fix defects in the radar system supplied to the NATCC by March this year.