Indonesia looks to ban old jets

Newer ferries and trains also suggested after series of transport disasters.

    Indonesian air travel has grown rapidly since the industry was liberalised in the late 1990s [AP]

    Hatta said the issue was still being discussed and would need to be ratified by ministerial decree.
    "It is an important thing for passengers' safety and comfort. Moreover, the economic limit age for aircraft is 20 years."
    The current age limit is 35 years or 70,000 landings, Hatta said.
    Local media reports also quoted Hatta as saying that the age of ferries and trains should be limited to 20 years and 40 years respectively.
    Enforcement problems

    A series of recent incidents have raised
    concerns over air safety [EPA]

    Pressure is mounting on the government to improve the country's poor transport safety record following an aircraft accident and two ferry disasters within two months.
    However, the proposed age limit on passenger jets could be difficult to enforce since many of the aircraft operating in Indonesia are well over 10 years old.
    At the same time many experts argue that aircraft safety relies more on proper maintenance rather than the age of the equipment.
    On New Year's Day, a 17-year-old Boeing 737-300 operated by budget airline Adam Air carrying 102 people vanished and is believed to have crashed into the sea off Sulawesi island.
    Last week, Adam Air's six remaining Boeing 737-300s were grounded for safety checks after one of them cracke its fuselage during a hard landing.

    Air travel in Indonesia, home to 220 million people, has grown substantially since the liberalisation of the airline industry after the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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