JOHOR is expected to be the third airbase for the Fire and Rescue Department after Penang and Subang, according to its director-general Datuk Seri Abdul Wahab Mat Yasin.
He said the agency was currently in discussion with state government and the land and mines office to find suitable government-owned land near the Senai International Airport.
“We hope to get government land near Senai International Airport, as the facilities are already there.
“The development cost for the airbase is around RM50mil for a complete air station, from the office to the helipad. We will send this request to the Federal Government to be included in next year’s budget.”
He said priority would be given to Johor in building the next airbase, which was in line with the government’s plan to turn the state into a petrochemical hub.
The department currently has one airbase for the Northern Zone in Bertam, Penang, and another one under development in Subang, Selangor, which is expected to be completed within two years, to cover the Middle Zone.
“We plan to have at least four more air bases, namely in Senai, Johor for the Southern Zone, Wakaf Tapai in Terengganu or Kuantan in Pahang for the Eastern Zone, and one each in Sabah and Sarawak,” he said after the Excellent Service Awards 2022 at Tanjung Puteri Resort, Pasir Gudang.
Abdul Wahab said having the airbase in Johor was important as it would give investors assurance.
“Johor has a lot of industrial areas, especially the oil-and-gas industry in Pengerang. We need to have an airbase so that we can rapidly deploy rescuers.”
He said the airbase would also have Emergency Medical Air Ambulance Rescue Services (EMARs) so that the department could send medical officers or food aid to remote locations in Orang Asli settlements, islands in Mersing, or any areas cut off by floods.
Abdul Wahab said the department had identified 5,648 hotspots or flood-prone areas around the nation for the ongoing northeast monsoon season.
“The state with the most hotspots is Sarawak with 1,066 areas, followed by Sabah (798), Pahang (750), Johor (754) and Kelantan (617).
“We have also identified 186 waterfall locations and 254 critical slopes where landslides can occur.
“At the moment, there are 13,435 Fire and Rescue Department personnel and officers on standby, along with 2,224 auxiliary firemen at 337 stations all over the country.”
The department has also activated its Southern Zone Regional Forward Base (RFB) at Ayer Hitam Fire and Rescue Station in Batu Pahat, Johor, due to its strategic location.
“The two other locations are Malaysian Fire and Rescue Academy in Wakaf Tapai, Terengganu for the Eastern Zone, and Perda Fire and Rescue Station in Penang for the Northern Zone,” said Abdul Wahab.
“RFB will function as an area for the deployment of personnel and logistics according to three regional divisions, which will help the fire brigade mobilize aid quickly and efficiently.”
Reference : https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2023/11/25/fire-depts-third-airbase-planned-near-senai-airport