JAKARTA - The government is preparing new regulations that will limit the age of newly acquired planes to stimulate domestic operators to give priority to safety, an official announced earlier today. Domestic airliners will be banned from hiring or buying planes that do not meet this new requirement.
All airliners will be notified of this new regulation on a short notice. This will force them to renew their fleets, said Transportation Minister Hatta Radjasa to Kompas newspaper. "The ruling will probably put more burdens on air operators, but it is necessary to improve services in air transport," he said. There is growing concern about safety after two major disasters in the last one and a half year.
A Boeing 737-200 operated by Mandala Air crashed into a residential area shortly after taking of from Medan's Polonia airport in September 2005. 150 people on the plane and on the ground were killed there. On 1 January an Adam Air Boeing 737-400 disappeared over Sulawesi waters. The 102 people aboard are officially still missing as the bodies have not been found until today.
The government earlier banned domestic airliners from using planes older than 35 years or 70.000 flights.