SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF SABAH, Y.A.B. TAN SRI DATUK SERI PANGLIMA MUSA HAJI AMAN, AT THE INAUGURAL UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM (UAS) SABAH 2017 SYMPOSIUM, AT NEXUS & SPA, KARAMBUNAI, KOTA KINABALU, ON 12TH DECEMBER 2017
I am pleased to join you here and to speak before distinguished guests and participants at this inaugural unmanned aerial systems (UAS) SABAH 2017 symposium organised by Layang Layang Helicopter Academy Sdn. Bhd in collaboration with Embry-Riddle Aviation University Asia. I congratulate the hosts for organising this symposium and for bringing together those with interest in charting a way forward for the development of this fast moving UAS technology.
I note the objectives of the symposium are to set the correct footing on the onset of UAS development, encourage the growth of this technology and position Sabah in the lead to promote UAS development. It is timely that serious thought is given to the development and usage of drones, as it is more commonly known, and to explore its potentials and look into the avenues that can benefit the community and the country.
I am confident you will benefit greatly from this symposium by hearing from speakers, subject matter experts, relevant authorities, stakeholders and people with extensive experience with UAS assets whom I understand will enlighten you on the development of UAS and its impact on the aviation industry.
It is here today at this symposium that we have representation of legislators, stakeholders, government, business and end users to work together and deliberate to achieve a framework that meets the goals. There has to be a continuing effort by all parties to work towards the growth of UAS in the country.
Manned aircraft has served as the traditional mode of air transportation and now we are seeing drone technology rapidly transforming industries. I understand that there is enormous growth in drone sales, and this can be seen as an encouraging technological development as manufacturing entities start to harness the almost limitless use of drones. This technology has already made its mark in various fields such as agriculture, filming and forestry, just to name a few. It is foreseen that drones will soon have an impact on delivery systems and will be used to distribute goods and eventually even serve as a mode of transportation.
This shift to drone technology will undoubtedly open doors to new ventures and with that the creation of more quality jobs and the widening of economic opportunities. I wish to call on the relevant government bodies to promote the growth of drone technology as it has many benefits that would help us steer Sabah and its economy to the next level.
I do realise that there is a heavy task resting upon the Department of Civil Aviation to accommodate drones into the airspace of traditional manned aircraft. Maintaining safety is the top priority in aviation and the same safety standards will apply to drone operations too. We are looking at an industry that is going to have a great impact on the economic growth of the country. While maintaining safety, a balance should be struck so that new rules and regulations pertaining to drones do not impede the growth of the industry.
I hope that the relevant agencies will continue this initiative and in the future hold more round table discussions with stakeholders, arrange conferences on legislation, and create awareness programmes to explain the safety aspects as well as the potential for business development.
I hope to see recommendations to help in the development of UAS to surface as an outcome of the symposium. I believe the relevant authorities and stakeholders will subsequently take the appropriate measures within their purview to pave the proper pathway for the development of UAS to benefit society and ensure the safety of people and property.
The Sabah Government is willing and ready to support this industry and will take the necessary steps to promote it progress. The Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology Sabah that is working towards developing human capital will be able to develop this new field to sustain economic growth. The Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) will be able to draw up plans to cater for the Sabah entrepreneurs to venture into this field. With our support and the cooperation of all parties concerned, we can turn this industry as a game changer and lead Sabah to greater economical heights.
Do take the opportunity to gain new insights at this symposium, and use the information you get here to formulate the pathway for progress of the drone industry in Sabah and Malaysia. I wish you a fruitful meeting, and I now officially declare this symposium open. Thank you.