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Local Air Carriers Now Under Closer Scrutiny

Government Increasing Control and Supervision of Domestic Air Travel Following Fatal Crash of Lion Air Flight in Central Java.

(12/4/2004) The Indonesian Government has reacted to the crash of the Indonesian budget-carrier Lion Air flight JT583 on November 30, 2004, by increasing its supervision and safety monitoring of all domestic air carriers. That crash, in bad weather of the MD-82 aircraft as it landed at Solo's Adi Sumarmo airport, resulted in the loss of 26 lives and over 100 serious injuries to passengers on a flight originating from Jakarta.

Following the crash, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono immediately ordered a review of safety and procedures in place at all the Nation's airports.

On Friday, December 3, 2004, after meeting with the National Committee for Transportation Safety, Indonesia's Minister of Communications, Hatta Radjasa, mandated an immediate audit and review of all Air Operators Certificates (AOC) - the fundamental operating license held by every commercial air carrier. The Minister, charged with supervising the Nation's air transportation, also promised that plans are now underway for enhanced supervision and training for all air crew, aircraft maintenance teams, and maintenance facilities operating in Indonesia. As a direct result of the Lion Air tragedy, the Minister said the current minimum landing criteria for aircraft flying under inclement weather conditions is already undergoing a top-level review.

Freeze on the Licensing of New Air Carriers

Minister Radjasa has announced that the Government has put a temporary "freeze" on the issuance of any new operating licenses for domestic carriers, wishing instead to focus his Ministry's concentration on enhancing the operations of existing carriers flying Indonesia's skies.

With approximately 20 domestic air carriers now actively operating, the Department of Civil Aviation is reviewing service standards, airworthiness certification, aircraft utilization patterns and a number of other factors affecting flight safety.

The Government has also indicated it would review and consider withdrawing the "dormant" licenses of airlines holding operating permits but not actively involved in scheduled flights, such as Awair and Indonesia Airline.