Indonesia is initiating a safety audit on all the local passenger and cargo airlines operating in the country.
The exercise to be carried out by the Ministry of Transport (MoT) is expected to start in early third quarter of 2014. It will involve 37 passenger and seven cargo airlines.
Each airline will be placed in one of three categories according to the findings of its audit. The first is for airlines with no issues to be addressed, Category 2 is for carriers found to have issues that need to be rectified, while airlines placed in Category 3 will be required to correct identified failings immediately or face the risk of being grounded.
For safety, Garuda stands out among the Indonesian carriers currently. It has passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit, and – alone among the nation’s airlines – it has been allowed to fly into Europe since the European Safety Agency exempted it from a blanket ban in July 2009.
Following earlier problems, Indonesia has taken a tough stand on aviation safety in recent years which has seen the number of airlines operating fall from 66 in 2007 to 44 currently.
A further ten have been issued with air-operating certificates by the MoT but have either had them revoked because of safety issues or have failed to meet the Ministry’s tough start-up fleet requirements. These require a new airline to have a minimum fleet of 10 aircraft, five of which must be owned, before it is allowed to start operations.
This was supposed to have been effective on 1 January 2013, but small airlines have appealed for more time due to the heavy investment needed to acquire or lease aircraft and the 26 per cent depreciation of the local currency, the rupiah, against the dollar.