IATA chief tells Indonesia to make air safety pledge

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged Indonesian authorities to address civil aviation safety oversight.

Indonesia is a sprawling archipelago comprising over 18,000 islands spread across 5,000km with a population of 242 million people. It relies heavily on aviation for domestic and international travel but has a poor safety record, with 33 accidents recorded between 2005 and 2010.

On a visit to Jakarta, IATA director general and chief executive officer Tony Tyler said Indonesia has 1.4 per cent of global air traffic but accounted for four per cent of all accidents in 2010. “Every accident is a reminder of the need to improve,” he commented.

Tyler acknowledged recent efforts, but added that there is a need for a coordinated initiative by all stakeholders in Indonesia to solve the safety issue once and for all and restore confidence in all of Indonesia’s airlines.

He called on Indonesia to mandate the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) for all Indonesian carriers. There are 372 airlines on the IOSA register, but only one is Indonesian - the national flag-carrier Garuda.

The world body has also encouraged the mandating of IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) at Indonesian airports to manage better safety on the ground.

“Together, such proactive actions will send a clear signal to the world that Indonesia is serious about solving its safety issues,” Tyler declared.

On 30 September 14 passengers and four crew members were killed in Langkat, North Sumatra, when an aircraft operated by Nusantara Buana Air crashed on Mount Leuser.

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