Vice President Jusuf Kalla has instructed Garuda Indonesia to seek an European-based consultant in order to enhance the quality and standards of aviation safety. The instructions to hire a foreign consultant comes as something of a surprise from the man who, in the past, has made no secret of his preference for local consultants.
An interview with the Vice President published in the Bali Post on December 1, 2007, provides background on Kalla's call for the urgent hiring of an European aviation consultant.
The Interview: Jusuf Kalla
Bali Post: Why do you want to use a consultant from the European Union?
Jusuf Kalla: Standards of safety and the quality of aviation in Europe is sometimes of a higher standard, even when compared to America (FAA). They have their own standard and we must improve our standards. I have ordered PT Garuda to seek a European consultant to fix those things we must fix.
Bali Post: What actually needs to be done by the Indonesian aviation sector?
Jusuf Kalla: What must be done by Indonesia is to improve the standards of safety and security on its flights, not to undertake protests or threaten retaliatory flight bans. The cornerstone of every flight is safety. Because of that, the standards used by the European Union are appropriate for everyone, including Indonesia. And, don't forget, this is about our image. Because of this, I have advanced Garuda (first); if Garuda can fly to Europe that would be nice.
Bali Post: Will Indonesia retaliate with banning flights?
Jusuf Kalla: Don't be mad with the Europeans, look upon this as a wake up call to improve quality and safety of our flights. How can we be angry at someone else when it is us ourselves who have failed to make the grade? Don't be emotional for that will only further reduce the quality and image of Indonesian aviation.
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