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Indonesia suspends operation of MD-90 planes JAKARTA - Indonesian Transport Ministry has grounded all McDonnell Douglas MD-90 operated by budget airline of Lion Airline following two accidents in two weeks, Transport Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal said here Wednesday. The accidents came as Indonesia is struggling to improve air safety, expecting the European Union to lift its travel ban on Indonesia in March or July.

Minister Djamal said that investigation on the planes would be carried out by the National Transportation Safety Committee (Komisi Nasional Keselamatan Transportasi or KNKT). "Starting from today the MD-90 can not operate for three or four days," he told reporters at the Vice Presidential Office here.

On Monday, one of the MD-90 plane with 166 passengers on board skid off one of the runway when it landed at Jakarta international airport amid the rainy and windy situation, but no casualties was reported. On Feb. 23, another Lion Air's plane of MD-90 also skidded off runaway without front tire when landed at Batam air Port near Singapore. All 156 passengers on board were safe, but nine people were in shock after the accident.

The minister admitted that recently officials from European Union have said that Indonesia was still weak in surveillance. "Last week, they saw one of the weaknesses in implementing the law of aviation, it is the surveillance," said Djamal. In 2004, 26 people were killed when a Lion Air MD-82 plane skidded off a runway in the central Java city of Solo.

Lion Air is a budget airline which is the only airliner operating MD-90s planes in Indonesia. The country's parliament on Dec. 17 passed a new regulation on aviation with stricter safety standards. The new rules were hailed by the EU, Djamal said. Air accidents in Indonesia plunged in recent years when compared with three years ago.



Posted in General @ 12 March 2009 03:23 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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