Govt Mulls Lower Age for Aircraft

JAKARTA ~ The central government may impose a 10-year age limit on domestic passenger planes from their first flight in the country in a measure aimed at improving safety, Transport Minister Hatta Rajasa said.

Rajasa said on Wednesday that a ceiling of 10 years was sufficient since an aircraft’s commercial lifespan was only 20 years.

He said the proposal, which stipulates that jets must be no more than 10 years old when they first start flying in the country, was being studied and new regulations were being drafted.

Under current regulations, the age ceiling at first use is 20 years. Aircraft can then be operated until they are 35 years old or have 70,000 landings, whichever comes first.

Most commercial airlines in Indonesia use refurbished aircraft.

An 18-year-old Boeing 737-400 airliner operated by low-cost carrier Adam Air crashed into the sea off Sulawesi on New Year’s Day. None of the 102 people on board are thought to have survived.

Another Adam Air plane, a Boeing 737-300, suffered serious fuselage damage after a hard landing in bad weather on February 21, but nobody was injured.

The average age of the country’s commercial airlines varies between 10 and 25.2 years, according to press reports. The average age of Adam Air’s fleet was 18 years, the reports said.

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