Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation has vowed to improve the country’s aviation safety record.
Addressing delegates at the AAPA Assembly of Presidents, which is taking place in Bali this week, Ignasius Jonan said that he is on a mission to improve safety standards.
Having stressed his past achievements in the rail sector, the minister said; “[Now] I want to do the same thing in the aviation industry.”
“The aviation industry in Indonesia today might not like me,” he admitted, referring to his clampdown on airlines. “[But] at least we should share a passion to increase safety.
“The airline industry in Indonesia should improve safety a lot more. We have to push them (airlines) to improve safety. The business of the airline executives is doing business. My job is to impose a safety programme. If we have to choose between business and safety… I don’t want to compromise,” he added.
This process has already started, with the Indonesian government having imposed restrictions on airlines for failing to meet standards. It is also planning significant investments in safety across all areas of transportation.
“Next year the government will allocate around US$1 billion for safety improvements, including sea, rail and air transport,” Ignasius revealed. “This is the largest number in a single year since the independence of Indonesia.”
In terms of aviation infrastructure, Indonesia is embarking on a major programme to upgrade the facilities at airports across the country, including the improvement of runways, terminals and air navigation systems. By 2018, the government is also planning to add 15 new airports, while expansion projects will lead to at least 100 Indonesian airports being large enough to handle jet aircraft like the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 in three years’ time.
Andrew Herdman, director-general of the AAPA, stressed that aviation safety should be a “collective effort” between airlines and governments. He added however, that “further efforts are needed by some governments” to strengthen their regulatory systems in line with global standards.
Herdman also noted that AAPA has been helping Indonesia to improve its safety processes, including the recent hosting of a safety forum in partnership with the Indonesian Air Carriers Association.