The newly established state owned Indonesian Flight Navigation Service (PPNPI), also known as AirNav Indonesia, plans to install a new air navigation system called Emergency-Jakarta Automated Air Traffic System (E-JAATS) at the country’s main gateway Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng in Tangerang, Banten, next month to help improve aviation safety.
AirNav Indonesia president director Ichwanul Idrus said the E-JAATS will replace the 27 year old navigation system JAATS that is currently being used at the airport despite the rapid growth of incoming and outgoing numbers of air passengers.
“The old system does not fit the current air traffic condition and it should be replaced immediately to better manage the increasing traffic,” Ichwanul said in his office at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport complex on Tuesday.
“The aging system can no longer be ignored because its lack of capacity will threaten aviation safety.”
The E-JAATS will be able to handle some 2,200 flights on a daily basis, which is four times higher than the JAATS. Currently, Soekarno-Hatta handles around 1,200 flights a day, he said.
Ichwanul said that ideally, the air navigation system should be renewed every 15 to 20 years, not more than that.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommends a country should replace its air navigation system every 10 to 15 years.
In addition, in order to prevent any possible problem, the firm plans to replace the system between midnight to 3 a.m. when the air traffic remains low.
“That is the perfect time to make the transition because the airport only handles a few flights, minimizing any possible problem that may occur. We believe the new system will better improve safety and air navigation in the country,” he said.
He also said that the firm will later modify the new system in order to improve its performance and cope with increasing traffic.
The airport operator company Angkasa Pura II (AP II) purchased E-JAATS, worth Rp 471 billion (US$48.15 million), last year and it was used as a backup for JAATS, hence the word “emergency” in it.
Soekarno-Hatta has had another backup system called JAS since last year, but it does not have enough capacity, unlike E-JAATS.
Although it was initially for an emergency backup, Ichwanul claimed that E-JAATS has the capacity to become the main system; it even handled more flights than JAATS.
Separately, national flag carrier operational director Capt. Novianto Herupratomo said that air traffic control or ATC contributed 1.42 percent out of 6,116 aviation hazards that were reported by Garuda pilots.
An aviation hazard is a situation that has the potential to harm safety such as a short period of time between one aircraft to another when they land.
Unfortunately, no other domestic carrier conducted a study on safety like Garuda.
AirNav Indonesia was the result of a mandate from the 2009 Aviation Law that authorized the government to transfer air navigation service management from airport operators to a nonprofit institution to improve the nation’s air traffic services.