Delegates from dozens of Asia-Pacific nations attended the Global Navigational Satellite System Implementation Meeting, held in Bali, at the Ramada Bintang Hotel in Kuta, February 21-25, 2005.
The meeting, the seventh gathering of its kind, was held at the initiative of Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC).
As reported in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the Director General of Air Transportation for the Department of Transportation, Cacuk Suryo Suprio, open the meeting, saying: "Implementation of a global navigational system has long been recommended by international civil aviation organizations. This development is in keeping with the continued developments in air traffic technology and instrumentation."
Need for Improved Safety of Aircraft and Runways
Cacuk stated that the increasing frequency of air accidents in Indonesia, including recent cases of aircraft skidding off runways, is a cause for serious concern by the government. To prevent further accidents, his office has already ordered additional routine checks for aircrafts in accordance with international safety standards, the auditing of aviation companies, and evaluations of airports - especially the condition of the runways.
"We remind operators to be wary of unfriendly weather conditions. All flights are reminded to carefully calculate the impact of the wind and other weather phenomena. The same goes for the conditions on the runway, which must be truly safe for landing," said Cacuk.
No Link Between Low Cost Carriers and Frequent Accidents
When asked if the frequency of recent air accidents in Indonesia had any correlation to the growing presence of low-cost carriers, Cacuk rejected the suggestion outright. He said that the statistics clearly show that frequent accidents have occurred not only in this era of low cost carriers, but also long before, when ticket prices were still priced quite high. Furthermore, he added, the concept of cheap flights is not unique to Indonesia, but prevalent also across America and Europe.
Cacuk insisted that safety can be maintained, and even improved. "In principle," he said, "however cheap the flight, it should never reach the point where we are found lacking on important safety procedures."
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