Gorontalo to inform cattle
farmers on aviation law

The Gorontalo provincial administration is to socialize the Law No. 1/2009 on aviation to all cattle breeders around the Jalaluddin Airport following the recent incident at the airport where a Lion Air aircraft skidded off the runway after it hit three cows.

“We will list cattle breeders [living in the airport area] and invite them all to inform them about the law,” Gorontalo Governor Rusli Habibie said recently.

He said the law also stipulated sanctions for those who carried out dangerous activities in the airport area.

“We want to discuss this with the farmers to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future,” he added, adding that he had also coordinated with the Air Force to help secure the airport area.

As reported earlier, a Lion Air aircraft carrying 110 passengers, including five babies and seven crew members, skidded off the runway on Aug. 6 at around 9 p.m. local time after it hit three cows that had crossed the runway.

Jalaluddin Airport was temporarily closed and some flights were cancelled due to the incident. The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) immediately dispatched a team to examine the incident.

Jalaluddin Airport head Agus Pramuka admitted that the airport’s fencing was not optimal as some people had cut and sawed off parts of the fence.

“We have proposed to the administration to set aside some Rp 7.5 billion (US$722,000) to repair the 7,500-meter airport fence, but we have yet to get the funds as the administration had decided to postpone the budget allocation until 2014,” said Agus.

A councilor at the Gorontalo Legislative Council, Ayu Trisna Nasibu, had demanded the dismissal of Agus as the airport head for his dereliction of duty.

During some impromptu visits to the airport, councilors found some conditions that raised concerns, including damage on the runway

“In the airport traffic control tower, we found some unnecessary items, such as a mattress, a stove and a frying pan. It felt like we were in a boarding house. These conditions might attract rats, which later could eat through cables in the room, and this could pose the danger,” said another councilor, Ramdan Datau.

Meanwhile, in North Sumatra, travelers expressed their concerns over vehicle theft at the Kuala Namu International Airport, which was opened for operation on July 25.

Bahri, a Medan resident, said he lost his motorcycle at the Kuala Namu parking lot. “I had the official parking ticket. My motorcycle was gone, but the parking management did not even seem to care about it,” said Bahri.

Kuala Namu Airport General manager Said Ridwan confirmed that there had been some cases of vehicle theft since the airport was opened. He said that his office would compensate for stolen vehicles if the victims could provide official reports from the police.

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