Following a number of recent aviation tragedies in Southeast Asia, it is being reported that the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation plans to publish safety ratings of all scheduled Indonesian airlines perhaps as early as next month. It also is being reported that the Ministry of Transportation plans to encourage the entire airline industry to put safety as a priority, according to a statement by the transportation minister as reported by the Aviation Safety Network: http://news.aviation-safety.net/2015/01/29/indonesian-ministry-of-transportation-to-publish-airline-safety-ratings/
Indonesia’s transport minister, Ignasius Jonan, reportedly said that airlines would be evaluated every three months and those that receive poor safety ratings would be punished, according to The Straits Times in a Jan. 27, 2014 story by Reuters. He did not elaborate on what the ratings systems or sanctions would be. The latest aviation disaster involved Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ 8501 that crashed into the Java Sea killing all 162 people on board Dec. 28, 2014. The transport minister has suspended AirAsia’s Surabaya-Singapore license for operating flight QZ8501 on a Sunday, for which it did not have permission. The transport minister proposed a number of rule changes at a parliamentary hearing last week, including requiring daily health checks for flights crews and air traffic controllers. The odds of a person dying in a plane crash is about 1 in 11 million, three planes – two based in Malaysia and the third the AirAsia Flight that was an Indonesian affiliate of a Malaysia-based group – all have gone down with no apparent survivors. It has raised the serious question of whether flying in peninsular Southeast Asia is safe. A story released by Bloomberg News, “Why Air Disasters Keep Happening in Southeast Asia,” by reporter Joshua Kurlantzick published on Dec. 29, 2014, examines this issue and concludes, “The air market in that region has embraced low-cost carriers, leading to a proliferation of flights throughout Southeast Asia, stretching air traffic controllers, and possibly allowing some airlines to expand too rapidly. Indonesian carriers, air traffic controllers, and Indonesian airspace in general have become notorious for weak safety regulations”
To read the entire Bloomberg story, click here. It awaits to be seen if the course of action announced by the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation will make a difference in that part of the world for those who fly.