PETALING JAYA: A few issues should be resolved to ensure air travel can be effectively revived in most countries, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

The Transport Minister said the issues included lifting quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers to most countries, gradually removing testing requirements including allowing antigen tests for entry to some countries, and easing visa or entry permit requirements to most countries.

“Once these three elements can be resolved along with the reopening of international borders, it should allow for an effective recovery of the aviation industry that can directly benefit the people and economies worldwide,” he said during the Future Aviation Forum 2022 in Saudi Arabia.

Dr Wee, who joined eight other counterparts in the inaugural forum, said Malaysia continued to give its commitment to supporting International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) efforts to revive the industry “fully and sustainably”.

He said air transport was one of the main contributors to economic growth in Malaysia through tourism and other industries.

“Since 2004, Malaysia’s transport sector has grown 5% and it contributed 3.5% to the GDP.

“In 2018, the Malaysian aviation industry accounted for an average of US$5.2bil of the GDP,” he said.

Dr Wee said every country must play its role to keep the aviation industry soaring and growing in a post-pandemic era by “readying connectivity, boosting prosperity and creating new job opportunities”.

He said Malaysia strongly support the ICAO’s efforts and initiatives to make air travel safer and more secure, and that the country would continue to improve air travel and its facilities.

“We also support and applaud the role of the ICAO’s Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce consisting of member states, organisations and industry players – both international and regional – in counteracting the effects of Covid-19 and providing the way forward to air travel’s safe and sustainable recovery.”

Dr Wee also elaborated on Malaysia’s commitment to empowering research on biojet fuel as a source of eligible fuels.

“Malaysia aspires to see crude palm oil be included as an acceptable feedstock in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation in the future.

“We recognise the importance of utilising Sustainable Aviation Fuel in reducing carbon emissions from its operations, as well as meeting the aviation industry’s global aspirational goals,” he said.

Dr Wee was one of the eight panellists, led by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Service Saleh Naseer.