ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt finishes ICAO recommendations on aviation standards
Indonesia :The country should have better aviation standards starting next year, as the Transportation Ministry claims it has implemented corrective recommendations from the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The ministry’s director for air transportation, Muzaffar Ismail, said the corrective actions, which followed an audit and recommendations by ICAO, were 96.2 percent complete. He added that the ministry had fixed some of the problems the ICAO had pointed out in its earlier audit, such as those regarding aircraft inspection training as well as the country’s poor safety oversight. “With the updates, based on our analysis, we are well above 60 [points],” Muzaffar said, referring to the score limit for the ICAO.
After receiving the reports, the ICAO officials will carry out an evaluation and conduct an inspection.
According to Muzaffar, the process of validating the adjustments, to be made through off-site evaluation and on-site visits, will be conducted this year. The aspects to be audited will include operation and organization.
In response to the lackluster training for inspectors, the ministry has drawn up a training syllabus, boosted recurrent and on-the-job training for aircraft inspectors and improved its monitoring of oversight activities.
The move is line with the ministry’s commitment to focus on transportation safety next year, as it plans to allocate 20 percent of its budget of Rp 48.5 trillion (US$3.57 billion) in the 2016 state budget on improving safety in air, land, sea and rail transportation. “For example, if an airline indicates a tendency toward this kind of incident [accidents], we will increase the frequency of airline inspections to more than 75 times a year,” he said.
The ICAO findings showed that Indonesia scored below the global average in all eight areas it assessed during its audit in May last year.
Among the eight areas, Indonesia scored lowest on organization, with a score of only 17.6 percent for “effective implementation”, far lower than the global average of 64.8 percent. Meanwhile, its airworthiness was scored at 61 percent, lower than the worldwide average of 73.9 percent.
Previously, Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan forecast the country’s score would reach 70 percent with the improvements.
ICAO audits have been widely referred to by developed countries when imposing bans on airlines from countries with poor air safety oversight. Its audit on Indonesian aviation in 2007 partly led the FAA and the European Commission to impose a flight ban on Indonesian airlines, although some airlines have since been removed from the list.
Muzaffar said the ministry, which had previously aimed at improving its Category 1 status from the FAA in the middle of the year, had also finished the corrective actions from 21 findings by the organization, which mainly also focused on training.
The FAA downgraded Indonesia’s aviation safety to Category 2 seven years ago, signaling that the country lacked the regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards.
He said that following the ministry’s meeting with the FAA in Washington, DC in September, the organization revealed that the country still lacked standard operating procedures in law enforcement for airlines, particularly in the ministerial regulations on fines.
“We have signed that too, we just have to implement it. I hope it’ll all be done by 2016,” Muzaffar said.
He said he had asked the FAA to prioritize Indonesia given the high number of airlines, at 57, in the country and the size of the fleets operating in Indonesia. The FAA has given Indonesia an auditing slot of sometime around February 2016.
On the same occasion, Jonan also restated the government’s commitment to safety, by freezing route permits for airlines whose aircraft were involved in crashes, as well as issuing a regulation on the maximum age limit for aircraft at 30 years.
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