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Jakarta Post

Indonesia gains flight control over Riau skies

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Wed, January 16, 2019   /   05:05 pm
Indonesia gains flight control over Riau skies Unwelcome guest: An Ethiopian Airlines cargo plane, which was forced to land by three Indonesian Air Force planes, is parked at Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on Monday. The plane allegedly entered Indonesian airspace without permission. (Antara/M N Kanwa)

Indonesia has renewed its pledge to complete the takeover of flight information region (FIR) control over Riau Islands and Riau provinces from Singapore.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the forcing down of an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft to land in Batam by the Air Force's F-16 planes on Monday showed that Indonesia had started to gain control in the region.

“We want to show that our system is improving. Indonesia can now monitor people entering our territory without identity or permission,” Luhut told a press conference in Batam, Riau Islands.

Luhut, who is also tasked with completing the FIR takeover from Singapore, said the Air Force had shown its high capability and that it deserved appreciation for what it did with the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft.

Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said he had ordered the Ethiopian Airlines airplane to land in Batam, after receiving a report of an unauthorized aircraft entering Indonesian territory.

“I want the regulation to be enforced and currently it is currently being processed by the relevant ministry,” said Hadi, adding that the airplane was carrying Rolls Royce aircraft engines and accessories to be flown to Hong Kong.

Separately, Hang Nadim Airport director Suwarso said the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft had received direction from Singapore’s FIR and had as well planned to land in Batam.