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5 Steps to Safer Domestic Flights in Indonesia

Commission V of Indonesian House of Representatives Calls on Minister to Communications to Take 5 Urgent Steps to Upgrade Flight Safety on Domestic Flights.

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Following the September 2, 2005, fatal crash of a Boeing 737-200 airplane owned by Mandala Airlines in Medan that claimed at least 150 lives, the House of Representatives (DPR) has called on Minister of Communications, M. Hatta Rajasa, to take 5 urgent steps to enhance the safety of the public on Indonesian domestic flights.

In a meeting of Commission V of the DPR, the Chairman of the Commission, Sofyan Mile, underlined the urgent need to enhance flight safety.

The five urgent steps to improve flight safety outlined by the legislators are:

• First, for the Minister of Communication to undertake an immediate evaluation of all "problematic" rules and regulations of his Ministry.

• Second, undertake strict audits of all companies and their flight safety and make those results available to the public.

• Third, enhance the standing of the National Committee for Transportation Safety (KKNT), including making a budget available to the KKNT from the 2006 State Budget.

• Fourth, the Department of Communications, in its capacity as regulator, must take strict action against companies who violate safety regulations in the pursuit of profit.

• Fifth, the Department of Communications must revamp the function and the staffing of the Directorate of Certification and Airworthiness (DSKU) within the Director General of Air Communications.

Recalling the loss of life in the Medan crash sustained by people on the ground, the Chairman of the Commission also called on the Minister to take steps to reduce population densities in close proximity to airports.

More Stringent Ramp Checks

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, Minister Hatta announced that his department will increase the frequency of safety audits or ramp checks of all aircraft from once every four months to a new schedule of once every two months, with the results of air safety audits to be reported to the House of Representatives.

Strong Action Taken By The Minister

In a much publicized surprised inspection of aircraft led by Minister Hatta at Jakarta's main airport on Saturday, September 10, 2005, five Boeing 737-200 aircraft operated by domestic carriers were grounded for failing to address mechanical problems affecting the plane's airworthines. During his inspection visit the Minister was accompanied by the Director-General of Air Communications and the Diretor of Air Worthiness Certification.

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