Permits of all S'pore carriers in order: CAAS

SINGAPORE - ALL Singapore carriers flying to Indonesia have the necessary approvals from both sides to operate the flights, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

The authority has contacted the airlines - Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Tigerair and Jetstar Asia - which confirmed their permits were in order, a CAAS spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday.

Checks were done after Indonesia's Transport Ministry said last week that it would scrutinise the schedules and permits of carriers operating in the country.

The probe in Indonesia, in the wake of the Dec 28 crash of IndonesiaAirAsia Flight QZ8501, waslaunched after the ministry discovered the airline did not have approval from the Indonesian authorities to operate the Surabaya-Singapore route on Sundays- including the day the planecrashed.

Approval had been given only for flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. About 45 minutes after the Airbus 320-200 with 162 people on board left Surabaya's Juanda International Airport, the pilots alerted air traffic control of rough weather.

The aircraft crashed minutes later into the Java Sea, where a massive multi-nation hunt is now on for the wreckage.

In a joint statement last week, the CAAS and Changi Airport Group said that before an airline can operate a route, it must obtain approvals separately from the relevant authorities on both sides.

Indonesia AirAsia had asked for and was granted approval by the Singapore authorities to fly daily between Surabaya and Singapore because there were available landing slots at Changi and because of traffic rights under the government-to-government air deal with Indonesia.

A spokesman for SilkAir, which operates a total of 64 weekly flights to 12 Indonesian cities, including Surabaya, Semarang and Medan, said: "As part of our standard operating procedures,

SilkAir files for (landing and takeoff) slots from the respective slot coordinators, and then for approval from the relevant aviation authorities, before the start of every flight season. Approvals for our Indonesia routes are all in order."

This article was first published on Jan 07, 2015.
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