Indonesia told to develop local aviation professionals
Indonesia must develop its own human resources to cope with rapid growth in the airline sector as many airlines are ordering new airplanes to expand their fleets, a training executive says.
Joost Jonker, director of the Joint Aviation Authorities-Training Organization (JAA-TO), said on Wednesday that discussions on human resources frequently focused on pilots, although the industry needed people from many other professions, as well.
“We usually talk about pilots only because it is still the sexiest profession,” he told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the Indonesia Aviation Training and Education Conference (IATEC). “We also need mechanics, flight attendants, air traffic controllers, as well as the personnel who refuel the airplanes.”
Jonker said that the JAA-TO was cooperating with the Indonesian Civil Aviation Institute (STPI) in Curug, Banten, to offer training courses.
He said that it was important for Indonesia to build its own capabilities in the long run instead of relying on foreign talent.
Several Indonesian airlines recruit foreign pilots on short-term contracts.
The JAA-TO has also been cooperating with RMIT English Worldwide, which offers specialized English courses for the aviation sector.
Daryl Martin, the business development manager of RMIT English Worldwide, said that he had spoken to several government officials to establish language training and testing centers to improve the English-language capabilities of local professionals.
He said the cooperation was aimed at creating self sufficiency by identifying local talent who could become examiners and raters who would then evaluate local professionals to maintain their language proficiency.
Separately, the president of the International Association of Flight Training Professionals, Robert Barnes, said that he took part in the conference to share his experience in instructing student pilots.
He said that each nation had its own approach and practices that might not work in other countries.
The 2-day conference ends on Thursday and has been hosted by the Indonesia National Air Carriers Association (INACA).
INACA president Emirsyah Satar, also president director of national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, said that the first IATEC was held as a response to economic growth that has led to fleet expansion and rapid passenger growth.
“We hope that through this conference, we can prepare our pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers in the future. The ASEAN Open Sky is going to be implemented in 2015 and we have to be the host in our country,” he told reporters at a press conference.
Meanwhile, the Transportation Ministry’s air transportation director, Herry Bhaki Gumay said that Indonesia was committed to developing its aviation schools and establishing new schools to increase the number of students due to strong demand for pilots.
“We currently have 13 aviation schools across the country that graduate 300 students a year,” he said.
“We are open to collaborate with the private sector and any party to develop the schools. We are confident that a new school in Batam is going to be opened this year.”