Legislator calls on evaluation of air transport during the pandemic

Jakarta (ANTARA) – A member of the House of Representatives’ Commission V Rifqinizamy Karsayuda has called on the Transportation Ministry to conduct thorough evaluation on air transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, following the Sriwijaya Air mishap.

“The Transportation Minister would need to conduct thorough evaluation regarding to air transportation during the pandemic,” Karsayuda said in a statement here on Sunday.

He reminisced about the recommendation issued by the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in mid 2020 for more than 2,000 units of Boeing 737, specifically Boeing737-300, 737-400 and 737-500.

The FAA warned of possible corrosion on idled planes that could lead to a dual-engine failure.

It said, inspectors found compromised air check valves when bringing aircraft out of storage following four recent reports of single-engine shutdowns on planes that had been parked, prompting the directive for aircraft not operated for seven or more straight days.

Karsayuda said, the FAA finding should be seen as a warning for airlines in Indonesia that used Boeing 737s.

“The Transportation Ministry should anticipate the FAA finding. Therefore, the incident of (Sriwijaya Air) flight SJ-182 must become a momentum to evaluate our aviation industry amid the pandemic,” he said.

Karsayuda said, he would ask legislators of the commission, Transportation Ministry and the National Committee on Transportation Safety (KNKT) to conduct the evaluation.

“There must be consequences of the declining frequency of flight for the airplanes, not to mention the problem of old airplanes,” he added.

He admitted that the pandemic has hit the aviation industry badly but passengers safety should be put in priority.

A Sriwijaya Air jet with flight number SJ 182 believed to have crashed on Saturday (Jan 9) in the waters off Laki Island, Seribu Islands District, not long after taking off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The Boeing 737-500 airplane had its last contact with the air traffic controller when it was at 10,000 feet altitude at 2:40 p.m. local time, at 11 nautical miles north of the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and crashed in the waters of Seribu Islands between Lancang Island and Laki Island.

The ill-fated airplane was reportedly carried 50 passengers and 12 cabin crew on its flight from Soekarno-Hatta Airport to Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

Source: Antara News