Tecnam wraps up P2012 Traveller certification testing

 

Italian airframer Tecnam has completed the flight-test campaign for its P2012 Traveller and expects to secure European and US type certification for the all-metal piston-twin before year-end.

"All testing is now complete," says Tecnam’s global sales and marketing director, Walter Da Costa. "The two aircraft in the flight-test campaign have logged more than 500h, and we should get approval from the aviation authorities in the coming weeks."

Five aircraft are in production at Tecnam's headquarters in Capua, Naples, he says, with serial numbers three, four and five destined for launch customer and Traveller co-developer Cape Air.

The US regional airline has signed a deal with Tecnam for 100 of the Lycoming TEO-540-C1A-powered aircraft comprising 20 orders and 80 option. These will replace its fleet of Cessna 402C piston-twins and Britten-Norman BN-2 Islanders, which number 88 of the former and four of the latter, according to Cape Air figures.

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The first example will be handed over in February, with another seven aircraft scheduled for delivery to the Hyannis, Massachusetts-based company during 2019.

Tecnam forecasts demand for 11,500 aircraft in the commuter, short-haul category over the next 10 years.

So far, Tecnam has secured orders and options for 125 Travellers, and will launch a demonstration tour next year to drum up sales of the 11-seat aircraft. Although the timings and locations have not been finalised, Da Costa says the Traveller could make its debut at business aviation shows EBACE and NBAA, to maximise its exposure to corporate flight departments and charter operators, which are "key markets", he notes for the 950nm (1,750km)-range, high-wing model.

The €2.35 million ($2.7 million) Traveller was launched by Tecnam in 2011 as its first dedicated commercial aviation platform. The first test aircraft made its maiden sortie in July 2016, and the second joined the certification campaign in December 2017. Production is set at 18 units in 2019 and 30 aircraft in 2020, says Da Costa.

Esscom on alert for possible kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf

KOTA KINABALU: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has confirmed a report by an online maritime news website that a group of armed terrorists from the Abu Sayyaf group may be on the prowl in Sabah’s waters.

Esscom commander Hazani Ghazali said they received similar intelligence from their counterparts that the group was planning to carry out kidnappings, primarily targeting businessmen or crew members of foreign vessels, off Sabah.

He said Esscom is on the alert and he had instructed all assets to be mobilised to keep a lookout and be on standby at all strategic points in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone).

“I urge the communities in Esszone to pass on information to Esscom immediately if they spot anything suspicious so that swift action can be taken.

“We assure the public that everything is under control,” he said here today.

The public is advised to contact the Esscom hotline at 089 – 863181 to report any suspicious activities.

Yesterday, MarineLink, citing the Philippine Coast Guard, published an article on its website which stated that the ReCAAP ISC (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Information Sharing Centre) had received information that the Abu Sayyaf group was in Sabah’s waters.

The article said a group of 10 Abu Sayyaf members, armed with pistols, rifles and grenade launchers, was planning kidnapping activities in Sabah.

The article added that the group was using unmarked blue-and-white coloured motor banca, locally known as “jungkong”, which are speedboats specially designed for shallow waters.

“Shipmasters and their crew are strongly urged to exercise extra vigilance when transiting the waters off eastern Sabah and the Sulu-Celebes Seas,” it said.

Shafie: Sabah to be stern on security after two suspected kidnappers killed near Kunak

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government has taken a firm, "no-nonsense" stance against all elements that pose a threat to national security and will employ necessary measures to protect the country's borders.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said this in connection with the gunning down of two suspected kidnappers on an island near Kunak at around 11pm Thursday (Sept 20).

Following the shooting, security forces found two weapons believed to belong to the two suspects, who were allegedly members of a kidnapping-for-ransom group.

Shafie said based on his own experience as a former Deputy Defence Minister, he understands the measures that need to be taken to protect the country from external threats.

"As the State Security Committee chairman, I have informed our forces to take stern action against all elements of threat. This includes outsiders trying to invade our borders for malicious intentions.

"When it comes to protecting our borders, we won't make any compromises," he told reporters after launching an initiative at Yayasan Sabah on Friday (Sept 21) to provide financial aid to Sabahan students pursuing higher education.

Shafie, who is also Parti Warisan Sabah president, dismissed talks that cross-border crimes are creeping into the state again after almost two years of no incidents due to the state government's announcement that it will review the ban on pump boats.

Pump boats are small craft with converted or recycled motorbike or car engines which are much cheaper than "proper" outboard boat motors.

They are popular in the seas between Sabah and southern Philippines and are normally used by small-scale fishermen and also by more shady characters.

Shafie underlined, "We will scrutinise the (island near Kunak) incident from all angles, including the type of vessels used. It has nothing to do with the ban on pump boats.

"It's all about intention. If there's already malicious intention (to commit cross-border crimes), then they would use other ways to enter the country, not just with pump boats but also speedboats, which are much faster," said Mohd Shafie.

Pump boats were banned several years ago following a series of cross-border crimes on the east coast of Sabah, especially kidnappings.

This maritime border with the Philippines is only an hour away by boat from the mainland.

Semporna town in eastern Sabah, which is Shafie's home base, is seen as the gateway for cross-border travel, especially to the troubled chain of Sulu islands in the Phillippines.

A few months ago, Shafie said that Sabah may lift the ban to help poor fishermen.

On Sept 11, twoIndonesian fishermen were allegedly abducted by armed kidnappers at Semporna during curfew hours.

The two victims and another man were on a fishing vessel and had just docked at the Pulau Gaya jetty in Semporna.

It is learnt that at about 1am, one of the crewmen heard the engine sound of an approaching pump boat and suddenly, the power supply at their vessel was cut off.

Dusk-to-dawn curfew off Sabah's east coast extended till Sept 28 to thwart Filipino kidnappers

KOTA KINABALU: Security forces extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew in waters off Sabah's east coast for another two weeks from Thursday (Sept 13) to Sept 28.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah said that the curfew extension was necessary due to the continuing threat of kidnap-for-ransom groups and other criminals from neighbouring Philippines.

The latest extension comes two days after two Indonesian crew members of a fishing trawler were kidnapped at gunpoint from their boat in waters near Pulau Gaya in Semporna on Tuesday (Sept 11).

Their whereabouts are still unclear though the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) has asked its Philippines counterparts to assist in tracking down the abductors and the victims.

The latest kidnapping in Semporna waters broke a lull in cross-border kidnappings since December 2016. Security forces had thwarted an attempt with a firefight that left at least three suspected kidnappers dead with two captured in Semporna.

In a statement Thursday, Omar said that the 6pm to 6am curfew covers areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

He said that there was a need to continue the curfew in these waters to prevent the encroachment of terrorists and criminals who can threaten the safety of locals, international researchers and tourists on islands.

Omar said according to intelligence, kidnap-for-ransom groups and Abu Sayyaf militants are still trying to commit cross-border crimes.

“We also want to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and are staying near the Esszone (Eastern Sabah Security Zone),” he said.

The curfew was to facilitate enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the area as well as establish a sense of security among nearby chalet owners and fishermen through the presence of a security team.

All district police chiefs have been authorised to issue permits to any eligible applicants who fit the criteria to conduct fishing activities in the areas affected by the curfew.

The curfew came into place on July 19, 2014 following a series of kidnappings that saw the beheading of Sarawakian Bernard Then Ted Fed and the killing of several others, including a policeman and tourists in the east coast.

Sabah wants intensified anti-kidnapping efforts

 

KOTA KINABALU: The state government wants security forces to intensify intelligence-sharing and other security efforts to prevent kidnapping in Sabah.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the recent kidnapping, which saw two Indonesian fishermen taken at gunpoint, needs to be looked at seriously.

He said there had to be no compromises when it came to Sabah's security.

"Although this incident involves Indonesians and not our citizens, we cannot take it lightly. We must step up efforts to prevent it from occurring," he said after visiting the Malaysia Day celebration site at Padang Merdeka here on Wednesday (Sept 12).

Shafie said continuous engagement with the Philippines and other countries with common borders were needed to ensure that information is shared and cross-border crimes can be prevented.

Meanwhile, the Semporna MP and Parti Warisan Sabah president also said this year's Malaysia Day celebration would have added significance.

"This year's celebration will be extra meaningful, because it celebrates the formation of Malaysia as well as the new government," he said.

He said if all goes as planned, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would attend the event here.

Three Indonesian fishermen feared kidnapped in waters off Semporna

 

KOTA KINABALU: The hunt is on for a kidnap-for-ransom group who are believed to have abducted three Indonesian fishermen in waters off Semporna during curfew hours at about 1am Tuesday (Sept 11).

It was earlier reported that two crewmen were feared kidnapped.

According to Sabah acting police chief Datuk Omar Mammah, the three victims and another man were on a fishing vessel and had just docked at the Pulau Gaya jetty in Semporna.

It is learnt that at about 1am, one of the crewmen heard the engine sound of an approaching pump boat and suddenly, the power supply at their vessel were cut off.

"One of the fishermen, who is a local, went to hide in a compartment in front of the boat. He saw two masked armed men with dark clothing coming on board," Omar said.

He said the suspects spoke in the Suluk dialect (most likely Filipinos).

Omar said the local man eventually came out from hiding and alerted the police about the incident at about 2am.

The fisherman's friends were nowhere to be found then.

"We have taken a statement from this local man and are investigating," Omar said, adding that the police have yet to be informed of any ransom calls in connection to this incident.

He said based on initial probe, the masked kidnappers were believed to have carried M16 rifles but have yet to identify the type of boat used for their escape.

"We are also investigating whether the suspects belong to the Abu Sayyaf group," he said.

This would be the first kidnapping incident in almost two years.

Sabah's 6pm to 6am sea curfew, first imposed four years ago, was extended to Sept 13 and covers areas up to three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

Shafie Apdal restores special committee to stop illegal logging in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) has restored the special committee to eradicate illegal logging in Sabah.

Shafie said the committee, under the Chief Minister’s Department, will oversee all logging-related activities and also enforce and execute laws under the Forestry Enactment 1968.

He said this is among the proactive measures taken by the government to stop illegal logging and timber trading in Sabah.

“We are not saying that the problem is rampant, but they exist and we do not want it to continue for the sake of our resources and economy,” he said in a statement here Monday (July 16).

Shafie said illegal logging would also jeopardise wildlife.

“We do not want to lose our source of income, which also include tourism activities,” he said.

Sabah to ban timber export

 

KOTA KINABALU: Shafie Apdal, who was sworn in as chief minister, says he will instruct the state Forestry Department to immediately impose a ban on the export of logs.

However, Shafie said this was only a temporary measure designed to safeguard the resources in Sabah.

Speaking to reporters after being briefed by the Sabah Foundation today, he said the ban would be in force until further notice.

“The purpose of this ban is to ensure that logging activities will benefit Sabahans first. We want to make sure our wealth is fully managed and maximised by Sabahans before it is exported,” he said.

Regarding the future of the foundation, Shafie said the foundation would try not to venture into activities that it was not familiar with.

“There are some grey areas that we are not experts in. We will decrease these high risk activities,” he said.

Shafie to review eastern Sabah security, may allow pump boats again

 

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah may lift the ban on pump boats to help poor fishermen, especially in the east coast.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said he will discuss the matter with Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din.

The ban was enforced several years ago following a series of cross-border crimes on the east coast, especially kidnappings.

Pump boats are small craft with converted or recycled motorbike or car engines which are much cheaper than "proper" outboard boat motors.

On the dusk-to-dawn curfew order imposed on the east coast, Shafie said it will be continued if it is effective in reducing cross-border crimes.

"We will see which aspects to improve for the enhancement of security," he told reporters after attending a security briefing with the police and a breaking fast event at the Masjid Nur Islam, Sabah police headquarters in Kepayan here Wednesday (May 23).

Also present was Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and Kepayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang.

Shafie said he will also will look into tightening border security by ensuring that those who cross into Sabah from neighbouring countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia do so legally and with the proper travel documents.

He also said that local communities should work closely with security forces to strengthen state security.

"With better security and safety, business and tourism will improve. This will subsequently help drive up the living standards of the people," he said.

Shafie is the six-term Semporna MP.

Semporna is also the main port to some of the best diving havens in the world such as the islands of Sipadan, Mabul, Mataking and Pom Pom.

Sabah dusk-to-dawn curfew extended for two more weeks

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s dusk-to-dawn curfew which ends on Sunday (May 27) has been extended for another two weeks.

It will now go on until June 12.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din said the curfew has been extended for another two weeks due to persistent threats at the sea fronts.

He said the 6pm to 6am curfew covers areas three nautical miles off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

Ramli said according to intelligence information, kidnap-for-ransom groups and Abu Sayyaf militants are still trying to commit cross-border crimes.

“We also want to ensure the safety of the people of Sabah who use the waters and staying near the Esszone,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Ramli added that the curfew was to facilitate the enforcement and monitoring of boat activities in the area as well as establish a sense of security to nearby chalet owners and fishermen with the presence of a security team.

Kementerian Pertahanan Malaysia Menambah Jumlah Aset Ketenteraan di Sabah

Malaysia Melancarkan Perondaan Udara Bersama Filipina dan Indonesia

 

Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines launch joint patrols to tackle ISIS threat

The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia will begin joint patrols and information-sharing to curb the influence of local Islamist terror groups, according to a joint statement released by the three governments. Southeast Asian terror cells aligned with the Iraq- and Syria-based group have been emboldened in recent years, culminating in a month-long battle for the city of Marawi on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

 

Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines launch Trilateral Maritime Patrol - Nation | The Star Online

"The main objective of this initiative is to ensure that militant threats such as the Islamic State (IS) do not use the Sulu Sea to gain entry into our countries, more so following the Marawi city incident," said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein after the launch here in Indonesia on Monday.

MILITAN ADESH - MALAYSIA SEDIA BANTU FILIPINA PERANGI MILITAN [9 JUN 2017]

Malaysia dan negara-negara ASEAN akan terus memperkukuh hubungan dan menghulurkan bantuan kepada Filipina bagi mengekang DAESH menjadikan Selatan Filipina sebagai pusat pemerintahannya di Asia Tenggara. Menteri Pertahanan Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein menegaskan tidak ada tempat untuk kumpulan pengganas di rantau ASEAN khususnya di Filipina; dan Malaysia sedia membantu Filipina memerangi kumpulan militan berkenaan.

News (Video) - Malaysia ready to help Philippines fight against DAESH Militant [9 JUN 2017]

 

 

Newspaper Articles related to Eastern Sabah Security:

Hishammuddin: Malaysia to tighten border security - Nation | The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will tighten border security following the recent spate of militant and terrorist activities in neighbouring countries, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic).

New Straits Times - 18 April 2017

New Straits Times - 18 April 2017

New Straits Times - 18 April 2017

Curfew in Esszone extended till April 20 - Sabah Police Commissioner

04/04/2017 22-17ST: The curfew in waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) which ended yesterday, it has been extended until April 20. Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Ramli Din said those who lived in the area were requested to stay indoors and not enter the territorial waters between 6pm to 6am during the period.

 

New Straits Times - 17 November 2016

 

Tripartite action to stamp out abduction in Sulu Sea - Anifah

KOTA KINABALU: The increasing frequency of abduction cases by the kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Sulu Sea does not augur well for Sabah. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that although the abductions occurred in international waters, the incidents were causing a climate of fear among those intending to come to Sabah thus affecting the tourism industry here.

Berita Harian - 16 June 2015

New Straits Times - 16 June 2015