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ICAO CAlls on EU to Lift Indonesian Air Ban

International Civil Aviation Chief Praises Large Strides in Improving Safety Made by Indonesian Airlines.

(12/8/2008) Tempo Interactive quotes the President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Robert Kobeh Gonzales, as calling on the European Union to lift its blacklisting of Indonesian aviation which bars all Indonesian-registered aircraft from flying within European airspace.

Insisting that Indonesian has improved flight safety standards, pilots skills and air traffic management, Gonzales said, "I hope the union will be stopping it (the blacklisting) soon."

Gonzales also praised the transparency of Indonesian aviation authorities by publishing the results of ICAO audits on government websites. Gonzales explained: "Not ever country does this. Transparency is important."

Gonzales assured the Indonesian authorities that they were taking the necessary steps to improve flight safety and urged the rapid passage of the new aviation safety bill.

Saying he was amazed by the improvements made by Indonesia, he cited the increase in the number of flight inspectors and new air traffic controllers.

In the same article, the CEO of Mandala Airlines, Warwick Brady, blamed the EU blacklisting as having cost his airline around 3,000 passengers. "The ban forbids foreigners from flying with Indonesian airlines," complained Brady.

Brady also revealed that a deal that would have seen Mandala fly thousands of Indonesian employee of Total Exploration & Production was scuttled by the presence of the EU ban.

Brady branded the European Union as "wrong" for banning all Indonesian airlines. Mandala Airlines recently received a letter for the Director of the Air Transportation Directorate of the European Union, Daniel Calleja, who indicated he was pleased with the progress made by Brady's airline.

Brady added: "Mandala can meet the standards as it has been audited by various international institutions. Mandala has also completed an external audit, carried out by foreign institutions Airbus, Boeing, Kenyon, and Altara-Australia."

Related Article

[Indonesian Aviation Still in the European Doghouse]