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Indonesia Takes Steps to Enhance Airworthiness

Ministry of Transportation Introducing Tighter Regulation of Nation's Aviation Fleet. Licenses of 3 Carriers Now Revoked.

(1/30/2006) Indonesia's Department of Civil Aviation has taken steps to increase the safety of the flying public by stipulating that jets operating in Indonesia cannot be older than 20 years dating from their date of original manufacture or have performed more than 50,000 take-off and landing cycles.

The ruling, contained in a formal decision of the Transportation Minister Hatta Rajasa, became law on January 16, 2006. The regulation applies to new aircraft registrations in Indonesia, with aircraft already in operation and registered with the Transportation Ministry exempted and permitted to operate for a maximum 30 years or 70,000 take-off and landing cycles.

Under the new law, Indonesian air operators are now prohibited from leasing or purchasing jets older than 20 years and must cease to operate any new-purchase second-hand jets once they hit the maximum age limit.

The Indonesian-language daily Kompas estimates that of the present 300 commercial aircraft operated by 28 companies in Indonesia approximately 75% are older than ten years with some 41 aircraft currently on the Ministry's books having an age of 35 years.

Part of a Larger Revision of Air Rules

The Government is reportedly preparing a number of additional revisions in commercial air operation rules including increasing from 2 to 5 the minimum number of aircraft that a registered air operator must own in order to be allowed to continue air operations.

Once introduced, this requirement is expected to force a number of small local carriers in Indonesia to merge with other existing carriers in order to meet fleet minimums stipulated by the government.

Licenses of Three Airlines Revoked

The Ministry of Transportation has also announced the revocation of the operating licenses of three Indonesian airlines for failure to operate for a period of two weeks, grounds for termination of license under the current rules.

Having their wings clipped and now formally deregistered by the Ministry are are:

Star Air

Bouraq Airlines

Air Paradise International

Under the rules of the Ministry, each of the above named airlines must receive three official notification letters after which, in the absence of a viable business plan presented to the Ministry, the airline's business license will be formally suspended. According to published reports in the Indonesian-language Kompas, Bouraq has received its third formal notification letter while Star Air and Air Paradise have just received their first warning letter.