Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the U.S.-Indonesia Aviation Working Group Launch, Jakarta

Minister of Transport Ignasius Jonan, Director General Suprasetyo, Indonesian aviation officials and stakeholders, and of course our U.S. company representatives,

First of all let me thank Minister Jonan and other friends at the Ministry of Transportation for hosting this U.S. Aviation Day.  Minister Jonan suggested this event back in April when we signed the MOU to establish our new bilateral U.S.-Indonesia Aviation Working Group, and I can’t think of a better way to launch the Working Group.

Indonesia’s aviation sector has seen tremendous growth over the past decade, with more than 90 million people flying domestically or internationally in 2014.

According to the International Air Transport Association, Indonesia’s aviation sector is poised to triple in the next 20 years, reaching 270 million passengers per year.

Our friends at Garuda and Lion Air and the other Indonesian airlines continue to add dozens of aircraft to their fleets each year, many of these sourced in the U.S.  And with each additional aircraft, Indonesia’s airports and the skies above Jakarta, Bali, Medan, and throughout the country become more crowded.

With such robust growth, it is imperative that aviation infrastructure development keep pace with the strong historic and projected growth in the sector, especially given aviation’s central role in economic growth and development.

President Jokowi has made infrastructure development a key pillar of his government’s economic growth strategy, and aviation sector development is central to that effort.

That is why I am so pleased to be here today to help launch the Aviation Working Group, which will provide a platform for U.S. government and private sector engagement with Indonesia’s aviation stakeholders, to share best practices from around the world, and to propose and provide innovative solutions and services to support Indonesia’s aviation sector growth.

For almost 10 years, similar partnerships in China and India have helped to promote aviation-industry wide technical, policy, and commercial cooperation between the United States and those two countries, and have helped to develop safe and efficient aviation infrastructure.

U.S. companies are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of the growing aviation sector in partnership with the Indonesian government and aviation stakeholders.  23 U.S. companies are present today; you will hear from most of them. While many of them are likely already well known to their Indonesian counterparts, I am certain that today’s discussion will uncover new opportunities for partnership.

But today is just the beginning.  Later this afternoon we have set aside time to discuss how we can make the Aviation Working Group an effective platform for continued engagement.

Our goal will be to plan mutually beneficial activities and engagements under the working group that aligns the interests and strengths of U.S. industry with Indonesia’s priorities and plans in areas such as:

  • Air Traffic Management Modernization
  • Airport Infrastructure
  • Aviation Safety and Security
  • Development and Growth of Aviation Support Services
  • Airspace and Airport Capacity Analysis, Development, and Planning
  • General Aviation Access and Integration
  • Cargo Security, and
  • Other areas of mutual interest

I look forward to welcoming you all to my home later today at the conclusion of the U.S. Aviation Day to celebrate the launch of the Aviation Working Group in a more relaxed setting.

But for now, I wish you all success in today’s discussions.  Thank you!

As prepared.