Senin 30 May 2016 22:05 WIB

Indonesia seeks ICAO membership

Ignasius Jonan
Foto: Republika/Aditya Pradana Putra
Ignasius Jonan

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, DENPASAR -- Indonesia is garnering support in its bid to seek membership of the International Civil Aviation Organization for 2016-2019, and convened a gathering of transportation ministers of various ICAO members.

At the opening of the meeting here on Monday, the Indonesian Minister of Transportation, Ignasius Jonan, appealed to all the ministers or their representatives to support Indonesia in the effort.

"We appeal to all those present here to see more closely what we have achieved in the air transportation sector and what we will do in the next few years," he said.

Jonan explained a number of achievements, including in infrastructure development, and made a particular reference to those in the field of air transportation.

He also emphasized the importance of Indonesia's membership of the ICAO Council because 45 percent of the world's air traffic is controlled from Indonesia through the flight information region service (FIR).

Apart from them, Jonan also pointed out various targets set for 2019 that have already been achieved this year, including the development of 19 new airports in 2015 out of 15 targeted by 2019, 132 airport locations (57 in natural disaster-prone areas, 49 remote places and 26 along border areas) as well as development of 27 passenger terminals.

"The development of airports in outer regions, in natural disaster prone areas and in remote places is aimed at boosting economic growth and connectivity," he stated.

He informed that runways have been extended at 35 airports while aprons have been expanded at 20 airports. Flight safety facilities have been improved in 118 airports.

Because of them, he added, Indonesia has now achieved an ICAO safety standard (USOAP) rate of 70 percent, up from only 45.33 percent in May 2015, and an ICAO safety standard rate of 94.9 percent.

In terms of capacity, he underlined that 216 pioneer routes had been connected by 2015, including 95 in Papua, 13 in Maluku and North Maluku, 32 in Sulawesi, 26 in Kalimantan, 37 in Sumatra, nine in East Nusa Tenggara and four in Java.

"Many countries think that Indonesia has left Papua out of the scheme of things when it comes to economic development and infrastructure. I do not think so. We have developed airports and other transportation facilities in Papua," he argued.

Jonan disclosed that a number of airports would be revitalized soon, including the Domine Eduard Osok Sorona, Marinda Raja Ampat, Wamena, Mopah Merauke and other airports.

"In line with President Joko Widodo's program, development would no longer remain Java-centric but would rather be Indonesia-centric," he made it clear.

The minister observed that connectivity between islands, including outer islands, would ease the distribution of goods and movement of passengers and this will play a significant role in developing the economy.

Indonesia is home to thousands of tribes, cultures and various religions spreading in 17,504 islands.

"These facts were reason enough why Indonesia is worthy of being a member of the ICAO Council for the 2016-2019 period," he concluded.

A total of 31 representatives attended the meeting, most of them transportation ministers while some others were ambassadors from countries such as Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Madagascar, Ukraine, Zambia, Ecuador, Paraguay and others.

Indonesia needs to garner 125 votes to become a member of the ICAO Council for 2016-2019. In the election in 2013, Indonesia had only managed 97 votes.

If elected, Indonesia would be able to participate in determining the world's flight policy, as had happened in 2001.

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