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Air Operators Call for Safety Audit

INACA Tells National Legislators that National Air Safety and Airport Standards are Not Up to Par.

(1/20/2007) The Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) has called on the Government to undertake a complete safety audit of the Nations civil aviation fleet conducted by an international auditing firm.

Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bisnis Indonesia, the Vice-Chairman of INACA, Samudra Sukardi, said that his organization's recommendation for a complete safety audit is in line with recommendations recently made by Commission V of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR). The proposed audit would be comprehensive in nature and include examination of regulators, operators, airports, air traffic control, airport administration, the Department of Meteorology and the National Transportation Safety Committee.

"The choice of an international standard auditor is to maintain objectivity and should be carried out on a continuing basis," explained Sukardi, speaking recently at a hearing on air safety at the House of Representatives in Jakarta.

Sukardi, who also serves as the President Director or PT Pelita Air, said that the audit is needed following a warning issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) calling for enhancement in aviation safety procedures. Echoing shortcomings cited by the ICAO, Sukardi said both the quality and the quantity of inspectors assigned to the Indonesian Airworthiness Directorate (DSKU) are inadequate to the current number of commercial aircraft operating in the Country. According to the INACA Vice-Chairman, there are now more than 200 aircraft operating domestically in Indonesia resulting in more than 1,000 flights per day or more than 36,000 flights per year.

Sukardi called for additional inspectors to be assigned to the DSKU and that those inspectors possess professional certification.

Airport Conditions

At the same forum, the Secretary General of INACA, Tengku Burhanuddin, complained that the condition of airports in Indonesia reflect a limited capacity for handling both Boeing and Airbus equipment.

Burhanuddin said that many airport operational areas are infringed upon by residential developments and the presence of large flocks of birds. He also said that many airports landing strips are suffering from a build-up of rubber deposits resulting from aircraft touchdowns that should be periodically removed.

Sukardi also told the legislators that the administration at Indonesia's airports is more focused on bureaucratic administration and less concerned with safety issues. Also coming in for its share of criticism was the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology who, INACA claims, frequently provide inaccurate weather forecasts to pilots.

Angkasa Pura Responds

Angkasa Pura I (AP-I) the Company charged with managing Indonesia's major airports, refuted many of INACA's claims. Bambang Darwoto, the President Director of AP-I, insisted that the airports under his management comply with safety and security standards. "We provide all the required standard equipment for safety certified by the Department of Transportation.," Darwoto claimed. He also said that care of maintenance of airports is a continual process with rubber deposits on all runways regularly removed.