The Indonesian airline industry has gotten a lot of bad press for its safety lately (one survey earlier this year declared that 9 of the least safe airlines in the world were Indonesian) and certainly some Indonesian airlines cannot seem to get their acts together, but actually the country’s aviation sector has improved significantly overall in the last few years.
The best proof of that is the recent decision of the United State’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to upgrade Indonesia’s flight safety rating from Category 2 to Category 1, which means that Indonesian airlines are now allowed to operate flights within the United States.
Indonesia previously had Category 1 status but lost it over a decade ago in the wake of the country’s economic crisis in the late 1990s. The country’s aviation industry recently underwent an audit by the FAA to see if it the country could now meet the Category 1 safety and security standards.
“[The standards] have been satisfied, we have already fulfilled them all,” said the Transportation Ministry’s director of airworthiness and aircraft operation, Mohammad Alwi, when announcing the upgrade on Friday as quoted by Tempo.
At least one Indonesian airline has been counting on the upgrade to come through. National flagship carrier Garuda Indonesia previously announced plans to enter the US market next year, starting with routes to New York and Los Angeles.