JAKARTA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- 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
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
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 the officials from European Union have
said that Indonesia was still weak in surveillance aspect.
"Last week, they saw one of 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.
European Union has forbidden 51 Indonesian airliners, including the
country's leading carrier Garuda, from entering its territory since July 6, 2007
following a rampant air accident that killed more than 250 people. EU extended
the ban in November last year in Brussels.
With the help of the EU, Indonesia has made improvements on its flight
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
Air accidents in Indonesia plunged in recent years when compared with three
Taking airplanes is a favorite transport mean in the sprawling archipelago
country with over 230 million population.