If you are operating in the Singapore FIR, consider this carefully: you may be overflying Indonesia without knowing it. Indonesia will know though, and they want you to have an overflight permit.
You will find out in one of three ways:
- You’ll be intercepted by two Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi 27/30 Flanker jets and brought to Indonesia
- You’ll receive a nastygram via your National Authority
- You’ll get a fine
2. and 3. are not cool, but 1. is something to avoid at all costs. The inside of military/police cells at outlying Indonesian Airports is not pretty.
Watch out for the following airways – M758, M646, M767, G334, M761, G580. These all pass over Indonesian territory, even though the area is actually part of the Singapore and Malaysia FIR’s.
Indonesia has a reputation for excessively strict enforcement of permit rules. Back in 2014, a King Air plane en-route from Sarawak to Singapore was intercepted by Indonesian fighter jets in airspace managed by Singapore ATC, and was forced to land at WIOO/Pontianak Airport in Indonesia.
The reason? Because they were overflying some small Indonesian islands out in the ocean, the Indonesian Air Force claimed they were overflying Indonesia’s sovereign skies – without a permit.
Indonesia still hasn’t updated its AIP, but the rules they enforce are clear: if you’re overflying any Indonesian territory, you must get an overflight permit, regardless of the flight level.
Here’s a recent nastygram to an OpsGroup member in February 2017:
Bottom line: check your airways carefully, and make sure there are no Indonesian Island underneath. If there are, get a permit.