AirAsia disaster: Indonesia mandates pilot briefings before departures

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Jakarta, Jan 5: Indonesia has imposed mandatory briefings for pilots from flight operation officers (FOO) before departures in an effort to thwart any potential accidents, media reported on Monday.

The decision comes after AirAsia flight QZ8501 en route from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore went missing from the radars Dec 28, 42 minutes after take-off. It was carrying 162 people on board.

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"The transport minister has authorised the policy and it is now mandatory for pilots in any airline to do so," Indonesia's acting director general of transportation Djoko Murjatmodjo told the Jakarta Post.

Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan said such meetings would keep pilots informed of possible emergency decisions that they might have to make while flying their respective routes.

"By doing so, pilots will receive a complete picture about their respective flights from FOOs, including how to make emergency decisions with regard to possible weather challenges that they might have to encounter en route to their destinations," Jonan said.

Jonan added that the policy was an imperative for both domestic and international flights across the country.

Aviation expert and former investigator at the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) Ruth Hanna said during the briefing, which takes no more than 20 minutes, FOOs would also give all necessary documents such as weather reports for pilots to study.

"After that pilots will make their flight plan and then submit it to FOOs for second thoughts or suggestions. Later, the FOOs will submit the discussed flight plan to the appointed air traffic control," she said.

She further said the transport ministry must deploy more inspectors to ensure that the policy would be implemented seriously by airlines in the field.

IANS

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