Minister of Transportation Says Indonesia will Take Steps to Comply with Highest Aviation Standards of FAA and ICAO
Metrobali.com reports that the Ministry of Transportation has declared its intention to increase the level of aviation safety in Indonesia to comply with Category I of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Currently, Indonesian aviation only manages to qualify for Category II status under the FAA flight rules.
Category I and Category II Certification Explained
The FAA Category I status is granted to countries with civil aviation authorities that comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards; licensing and regulating its air carriers in accordance with those standards. Category I certification is needed to be allowed to fly into or over U.S. airspace.
Meanwhile, Category II certification is for countries with civil aviation authorities that fail to comply with ICAO standard, including failing to apply those standards on its national air carriers. Countries can be relegated to Category II status having a poor aviation regulatory environment; a lack of technical expertise needed to oversee its aviation industry; poor supervision and guidance of its aviation sector by the government; and poor safety documentation procedures
Indonesia’s Need to Raise Safety Standards
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan warned a meeting of the Association of Indonesia Air Operators (INACA) on Thursday, November 13, 2014: “Safety must be guaranteed; for this reason an increasingly stricter implementation of safety programs must be introduced. How you gentlemen run your airline businesses is your concern. Safety is our (the government’s) concern. It is better you don’t fly at all if you’re not going to be able to land safely.”
The Minister explained that it was the government’s role to continually enhance safety standards of both the air operators and the airports. In the long run, INACA members should embrace these steps as the “country safety risk” rating of Indonesia will improve meaning insurance tariffs paid by INACA members will be smaller.
The chairman of INACA, Arif Wibowo, welcomed the Minister’s comments, saying higher standards of flight safety were needed for Indonesian aviation to remain competitive domestically and internationally. Sadly, admitted Wibowo, Indonesia currently has the lowest safety rating among ASEAN Nations. “In ASEAN it’s only Indonesia (that is Category II). The Philippines has already moved up from Category II to Category I.,” added Wibowo.
In any effort to improve safety, the INACA chairman called on the Government to improve the flight infrastructure and enforcement of aviation rules. “Let’s not again have airports that allow dangerous good access, animals grazing on the runways and kites flying near the runway.” Wibowo said all stakeholders need to play a role in improving air safety including air operators, airport operators such as Angkasa Pura, the government as the regulator and the provider of air services.
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