Friday, March 1, 2024 | 10:12 WIB

Why are Indonesian airlines prohibited entry to the E.U.?

Chappy Hakim

IO – In 2007, due to the high number of airplane accidents in Indonesia, the Federal Aviation Adminis­tration (FAA) dropped its Flight Ranking to Category 2. Thankfully, we are now back in Flight Category 1. This means that Indonesia is deemed to be compliant with the International Civil Aviation Safety Regulations as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Unrelatedly and in a separate period, the European Union Flight Authority prohibited all Indonesian airlines from flying to Europe. This is mostly because they consider that the Indonesian Flight Authority cannot comply with ICAO’s International Civil Aviation Safety Regulations. The European Union prohibition is a double standard, because they prohibit the entry of Indonesian airlines to Europe for reasons of safety, while they do not prohibit European Union airlines to fly to Indonesia.

The basis of the European Union prohibition at the time was the FAA Category 2 ruling for Indonesian flight authority. This means that they consider Indonesian airlines to be unsafe, and by extension, doing flights in Indonesia may be perceived as uncompliant with international flight safety requirements. Oddly enough, they later allow some Indonesian airlines to fly to Europe, while continuing to prohibit other airlines to do so.

Indonesian airlines are now considered to be flight-worthy by Indonesian flight authorities, which are now acknowledged by ICAO. Furthermore, Indonesia is now back in FAA Category 1 Flight Ranking. This means that now, Indonesia has satisfied international flight safety requirements. Its flight safety has exceeded FAA standards, as its flight authority is now approved by ICAO. Under the circumstances, the European Union does not have the right to prohibit or limit the flight of Indonesian airlines into European Union territory just based on the discretion of European Union flight authority.

This action is absolutely unfair. We should reciprocate the unfair action of the European Union flight authority. Or perhaps, we might even go the other way and cooperate with the European Union flight authority, to see whether an airline that complies with international flight safety as stipulated by ICAO has the right to enter Europe or not. If they still consider that such an airline is still unworthy, then the European Union has denigrated both Indonesian flight authority and ICAO, which is the UN’s own official agency for international flight safety.