Indonesia could get safety rating upgrade within a year: AAPA

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Indonesia's aviation safety rating could be upgraded within the next 12 to 18 months, says Martin Eran-Tasker, technical director of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

The country has done "a lot of very good work" to improve its regulatory oversight, in an attempt to be upgraded from its category 2 rating imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2007, he explains. This includes action taken by Indonesia to place limits preventing the emergence of airlines with low passenger capacity.

"Indonesia recognises that they have shortcomings and they are addressing them. They understand the importance of the aviation industry. I'll be surprised if they can't get out of the status in the short term," says Eran-Tasker in an interview with Flightglobal.

He is, however, less upbeat about the Philippines' prospect of having its safety rating upgraded, adding that the government "needs to show more commitment".

He shares that the FAA made a trip to the Philippines recently, but the visit "was not as successful as hoped".

"More work definitely needs to be done. The airlines are being punished for the lack of regulatory oversight," says Eran-Tasker.

The Philippines' aviation safety rating was downgraded from category 1 to category 2 in 2008 when the FAA found that it did not meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) standards in its aviation safety oversight.

The category 2 rating means that Philippine carriers cannot fly to the USA. Those carriers which were doing so before the downgrade will not be able to increase flight frequencies to the country or change the aircraft type being operated unless it wet leases aircraft from a country with a category 1 rating.