The Jakarta Post
State-owned low-cost carrier Citilink claimed on Thursday that it had fixed problems in the enforcement of its pre-departure standard operating procedure (SOP) for crew members in the wake of the allegedly drunk pilot incident.
These improvements included, notably, the provision of a medical expert to check the health of the flight crew, Citilink vice president of corporate communications Benny S. Butarbutar said.
“Apart from requiring us to conduct a check on a pilot’s health condition, they (the regulator) also told us to make an improvement [in our system]. We checked all [of our crew members in the airports],” Benny said over the phone.
The investigation into the airline’s SOP was triggered by the incident involving a Citilink captain, Capt. Tekad Purna, who was in unfit condition when he tried to fly an aircraft from Juanda International Airport to Soekarno Hatta International Airport on Dec. 28. His unclear pre-departure announcement baffled passengers who then decided to disembark from the aircraft over safety concerns.
Citilink stated that it had not changed its original SOP, but merely improved the enforcement of its requirements. “But we are also open to adding more procedures if we need to. We will if the Transportation Ministry asks us to,” he said.
The Transportation Ministry previously found that Citilink, along with Lion Air, had not properly enforced its pre-departure procedure for crew members. The ministry reiterated that the enforcement of the SOP was the authority of the airlines. The ministry has sent a warning to both airlines. (bbn)
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