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April 17, 2008

Indonesia angered as nation\’s airlines all remain banned in EU airspace

Indonesia angered as nation’s airlines all remain banned in EU airspace

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

This B737-400 is comparable to the aircraft involved in all the accidents and incidents mentioned in this story. Adam Air is currently grounded and may have its license permanently revoked.
Image: Adrian Pingstone.

Indonesia has been angered by a decision of the European Union to leave all 51 of the nation’s air carriers on the list of air carriers banned in the EU. State-owned flag carrier Garuda Indonesia had hoped to begin flights to Europe imminently and has ordered ten new jetliners to serve routes there and to the United States.

Transport ministry spokesperson Bambang Ervan said “This seems like an unfair punishment for Indonesia. The EU is not a sovereign country and is not a member of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). But we do respect the EU and its decision, and demand the same from the EU.”

The ban was imposed after a string of accidents, of which the three most important were Adam Air Flight 574, a 102-fatality accident in which a Boeing 737-43Q plunged into the ocean after pilots distracted by instrument failure failed to maintain control, Adam Air Flight 172, in which another B737 snapped in half after a hard landing and Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, in which a third B737 attempted landing at extreme speed and overshot the runway, killing 21.

Adam Air had also almost suffered a B737 crash the previous year, 2006, after a similar navigational instrument failure to that on Flight 574 caused the airliner to become lost for several hours, eventually performing an emergency landing hundreds of kilometres from its intended destination. Indonesia grounded the carrier in March after another accident in which a B737 overshot a runway. The carrier is also in severe financial difficulties and may soon be permanently shut down.

Meanwhile, the pilot of Garuda 200 has been charged over the accident, sparking intense controversy.

The EU reviewed the ban this week, but ruled that those responsible “have still to demonstrate that they have completed the corrective actions” needed to lift the ban. It is a blow to Indonesia, who had promised “fast-track” help to Garuda, Mandala Airlines, Premiair and Airfast to raise their safety to levels acceptable to the EU.



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March 11, 2008

Adam Air may be shut down after string of accidents

Adam Air may be shut down after string of accidents

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Indonesian budget carrier Adam Air has been warned by Indonesia’s transport minister that unless the airline improves safety it will be shut down. Adam Air has suffered a string of recent accidents.

“We are giving them a chance to improve. If there’s no change, we will place them in the third category,” said Transport Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal, according to the state’s Antara news agency. The third category refers to the lowest a three-category ratings system for airline safety introduced last year. Airlines in the third category will be shut down in three months unless improvements occur. Adam Air is in the second category, which means that although the airline meets minimum requirements some problems still remain. “We give an early warning to make the carrier improve its safety,” Djamal told reporters.

The announcement follows the news yesterday that an Adam Air Boeing 737-400 had overshot the runway at Batam island’s airport, injuring five of the over 170 people on board. It is the third serious accident in just over a year. On New Year’s Day 2007 Adam Air Flight 574 crashed into the ocean near Sulawesi, leaving 102 missing, presumed dead. The following month Flight 172 cracked in half after a hard landing but held together, preventing fatalities. Both aircraft were Boeing 737s.

Danke Drajat, spokesman for Adam Air, said that the airline was making efforts to comply with the demand. “We are completing all manuals and revamping the standard operating procedure,” he said.

The Adam Air accidents accounted for two of the three main accidents that caused the European Union to ban Indonesian airlines from EU airspace last year over safety standards. The other, Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, involved a 737 belonging to the state owned flag carrier speeding off a runway at Yogyakarta during an attempted landing; 21 people were killed.



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November 1, 2007

Five injured as Mandala Airlines 737 overshoots runway in Malang, Indonesia

Five injured as Mandala Airlines 737 overshoots runway in Malang, Indonesia

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

This Mandala Airlines 737-200 is similar to the one involved.
Image: Lionlmi.

A Mandala Airlines Boeing 737-200 overshot the runway at Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport, East Java, Indonesia after a domestic flight from Jakarta. Five passengers were injured in the incident, none seriously.

The aircraft’s nose landing gear is understood to have separated in the incident, in which the aircraft skidded 260 feet from the end of the runway. Five of the 89 passengers and seven crew on board received cuts and bruises during the emergency evacuation that followed. It was raining heavily at the time, although it is not known if this is considered to have played a factor.

Airport official Suradi described the scene to Reuters via telephone: “The plane now lies abandoned on the runway … Its head is slightly tilted down because the front wheel broke off.”

The accident is currently under investigation. One potential cause being looked at is the fact that the forward landing gear axle is believed to have snapped upon landing, setting off the chain of events.

The Indonesian aviation industry has been the subject of much criticism this year over safety concerns, sparked by a string of accidents including Adam Air 574, which crashed into the ocean, killing 102, Adam Air Flight 172, a nonfatal accident where a plane snapped in half, and Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, which overshot a runway at extreme speed, killing 21. All Indonesian airlines are on the list of air carriers banned in the EU, and the United States Federal Aviation Administration has downgraded Indonesia to its lowest safety rating.

Mandala’s only fatal accident was the crash of Mandala Airlines Flight 091 in 2005, which killed 112 people.



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June 29, 2007

EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola

EU bans all Indonesian airlines as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola

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Friday, June 29, 2007

The European Union banned all of Indonesia’s air carriers yesterday, none of which presently operate services to Europe, as well as several from Russia, Ukraine and Angola. They are the latest additions to the already extensive List of air carriers banned in the EU. The ban is scheduled to come into effect on July 6. Just hours after the ban a Boeing 737 operated by one of the blacklisted airlines, TAAG Angola Airlines, crashed into a house during landing, causing at least six fatalities in Northern Angola.

Indonesia currently has 51 airlines, having grounded several and revoked the licences of others on June 25. The EU said that substandard maintenance and operation and a slow reaction by Indonesia to solve the problem were the main causes of the ban. EU holidaymakers who have booked flights with banned airlines via travel agents will be refunded for the services.

EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot said of the ban “Once more, the EU blacklist will prove to be an essential tool not only to prevent unsafe airlines from flying to Europe and to inform passengers travelling worldwide, but also to make sure that airlines and civil aviation authorities take appropriate actions to improve safety.”

Operations and safety editor at Flight International David Learmount commented that Indonesia, whose airline industry was deregulated the early 1990s, is one of a handful of cases where deregulation has lowered safety standards instead of improving them, saying of the move by the EU “Standards in aviation safety have been going up dramatically on a worldwide basis, but there are still places where they are [of the standards of] the 70s and 80s. In Indonesia the safety watchdog was told earlier this year to pull its socks up, but the EU is clearly convinced that it has not done so.”

One unnamed EU official was reported by The Guardian to have described Indonesia’s civil aviation authority as “not very reliable”, referring to a lack of reaction to warnings of an imminent ban and requests that Indonesia reassured officials that the problem was being dealt with.

Indonesia has responded to the ban by saying that, according to information unseen by the EU, Indonesian safety standards are rising. Director-general of civil aviation at the Indonesian transport ministry Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno told Reuters new agency that, “Our data can show them that we have improved on every line. The US had already downgraded Indonesia’s safety rating earlier this year.

Also affected by the bans are Ukraine’s Volare Aviation, while Russia has imposed bans on four of its airlines after consulting the EU and restricted six others, Bulgaria has revoked the licences of six cargo airlines and Moldova has banned eight airlines.

Meanwhile, Pakistan International Airlines, subject of a controversial EU ban earlier this year, had restrictions on some of its aircraft lifted. The airline’s fleet of Boeing 777s and some of their Boeing 747s and Airbus 310s will now be allowed back into European airspace.

The announcements come after three accidents involving Indonesian airliners – the New Year’s Day crash of Adam Air Flight 574, which killed 102 people, the subsequent accident involving Adam Air Flight 172, which cracked in half on a hard landing but held together, preventing serious injury, and the March crash of state-run Garuda Indonesia Flight 200, which claimed 23 lives. All the accidents involved ageing Boeing 737 aircraft.

Related news

  • “Indonesia shuts down 4 airlines and grounds 5 others over safety concerns” — Wikinews, June 28, 2007

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June 28, 2007

Indonesia shuts down 4 airlines and grounds 5 others over safety concerns

Indonesia shuts down 4 airlines and grounds 5 others over safety concerns

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Indonesia has shut down four airlines and grounded five others with the potential of similar licence revocations for failing to meet safety standards.

The largest company to lose its licence is Jatayu Gelang Sejahtera. The other companies are all small airlines operating only aircraft with a passenger capacity of fewer than thirty, and are Aviasi Upataraksa, Alfa Trans Dirgantara and Prodexim. The companies that were grounded pending either improvements or licence revokation are Germania Trisila Air, Atlas Delta Setia, Survey Udara Penas, Kura-kura Aviation and SMAC, all of which also operate only aircraft with under-30 passenger capacities. They have three months to improve, or their licences will be revoked.

Jatayu had already ceased operations in August, but had intended to restart with a 150-seat Boeing 737. The licence was revoked because the state requires at least two aircraft to be commercially operated and because of the fact that it “was lacking in pilots and human resources”. Also, the age of the jetliner meant that it would require a test called a ‘C-Check’ before it could begin commercial services, at a cost of $120,000.

The action comes as the result of a number of air crashes, namely the Adam Air Flight 574 disaster in which 102 people were killed, and the Adam Air Flight 172 accident, in which a plane snapped in half during a hard landing, but managed to hold together, thus preventing any serious injuries. As a result, all 54 of Indonesia’s airlines were given a safety rating, with a level-1 rating meaning no action was needed, a level-2 rating meaning the airline needed to make some improvements, and a level-3 rating requiring that the airline be shut down unless improvements were made within three months. Most airlines received a level-2 rating, while none received the top rating. Adam Air was among the airlines to receive the level-3 rating, but was upgraded to tier 2 at the same time as the groundings.

Meanwhile, state-owned Garuda Indonesia is now the only airline to have a type-1 rating, despite the fatal crash of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 in March. According to the Indonesian Transport Ministry’s Director General for Aviation Budi Mulyawan Suyitno, Garuda now satisfied 84 percent of civil aviation standards.

The ratings have been based on such criteria as surveillance, ramp checks, personnel, department safety, number of accidents and number of serious incidents, according to the BBC. Meanwhile, Flight Global is reporting that, according to Directorate General of Air Communications (DGAC) director of air certification office, Yurlis Hasibuan “20 criteria including whether the airline has developed [better] safety and human resources” are checked.

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