Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the U.S. – Indonesia Aviation Working Group, Jakarta.
Minister Jonan Ignasius, Director General Suprasetyo, Indonesian aviation officials and stakeholders, and of course our U.S. company representatives.
I am delighted to be be here today. As we approach the one year anniversary of our first U.S.-Indonesia Aviation Working Group event, I would like to say a special thanks to Minister Jonan. Minister, your strong support of our bilateral aviation working group has helped to make it a success, and we’re only one year in!
When Minister Jonan and I signed the MOU establishing the Aviation Working Group in April 2015, we had hopes that it would become a platform for enhanced bilateral engagement between the United States and Indonesia. Looking back on the AWG’s first year, I think we can say that we have exceeded our expectations.
The U.S.-Indonesia aviation relationship is stronger than ever, and will continue to benefit Indonesian airlines and the aviation sector as a whole.
You just heard Rosemary describe some of the activities that we have done together under the umbrella of the aviation working group. And we have seen new partnerships flourish in the past year.
In October, Mitre signed a partnership agreement with Airnav to work together to modernize Indonesia’s air navigation services.
With Garuda, Lion, Sriwijaya Air, and others expanding their fleets and putting more planes in the air every day, the skies above Jakarta, Bali, Medan, and throughout the country become more crowded.
That is why the work that Airnav and Mitre are doing together is so critical. And together, they are developing a roadmap for success that will serve Indonesia’s 21st century aviation sector.
We were pleased that an Indonesian delegation was able to visit Mitre’s headquarters on May 13 to learn more about their cutting edge research. Now we just need to re-schedule Minister Jonan’s visit!
The U.S. government also is pleased to partner with DGCA to improve airspace management in Eastern Indonesia as well. Today we will sign an agreement for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to provide support for concrete steps to improve air traffic management and aviation safety in eastern Indonesia.
The technical assistance will support DGCA’s efforts to update air navigation capabilities and improve the safety and operations of commercial and general aviation in Papua and Maluku.
As a frequent and enthusiastic visitor to these beautiful parts of Indonesia, this work will enhance tourism, business and other opportunities and support President Jokowi’s development efforts.
Our work with the DGCAis an instrumental part of our joint efforts to continue to strengthen economic – and civil aviation – ties between our countries.
I am also pleased to announce today that USTDA will support a reverse trade mission for Indonesian aviation officials from DGCA, Airnav, AP1 and AP2 to visit the United States.
While the details and timing need to be worked out, the mission will expose participants to advanced air traffic management, airport infrastructure and security technology, and services and best practices through visits to U.S. government and private sector experts.
With these activities under the Aviation Working Group umbrella, we have built a foundation for continued strong partnership and progress in the aviation sector.
We are proud to see the U.S. private sector’s commitment to Indonesia, and to the success of the Aviation Working Group. 38 companies are now members, and we have many of those companies here with us today.
U.S. companies are uniquely qualified to meet the challenges of the growing aviation sector in partnership with the Indonesian government and aviation stakeholders. Today we can celebrate new partnerships between leading U.S. companies and Indonesia.
Harris Corporation will provide state of the art voice communications systems equipment for the Makassar Area Control Center under a contract signed just a few weeks ago.
And Garuda just began using Sabre’s industry leading fleet and crew management systems to increase efficiency and optimize its operations. A world class airline in Indonesia using Sabre’s world class systems to improve operations. What could be better than that?
In all that we do together to support Indonesia’s aviation sector growth, safety is paramount. I would like to commend Minister Jonan for his commitment to improving Indonesia’s aviation safety.
I know Pak Pras and his team have worked tirelessly to improve DGCA’s safety oversight, and the FAA continues to consult closely with DGCA on their progress.
We will spend part of today talking about some of the challenges Indonesia faces as its aviation sector grows. Of course these challenges include infrastructure development, air navigation modernization, aviation security, and other physical and procedural development necessary for a safe, secure and efficient sector.
But at the heart of any aviation sector are the people. People that fly the planes, direct those planes in the sky, maintain those planes on the ground, operate the airports, and regulate the sector.
As Indonesia’s aviation sector continues to grow, the demand for pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers, baggage handlers, reservation agents, government inspectors, and myriad other professions critical to a healthy sector is growing too.
And so today we will talk about how Indonesia can develop the workforce necessary to keep those planes flying on time and in a safe manner.
But today we can also celebrate all the work that we have done together in the first year of the U.S.-Indonesia Aviation Working Group. We’ve set the stage for closer cooperation in the years to come.
I wish you success with your discussions today, and I look forward to welcoming you all to a reception at my Deputy’s residence this evening to celebrate our enduring partnership.