More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Saturday, March 29, 2008

City told to grow public transit not new roads: Experts

Adisti Sukma Sawitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   |  Sat, 03/29/2008 11:13 AM

Jakarta should focus more on developing its inner-city public transportation than building more roads to solve traffic woes in the city, experts from East Asia and Indonesia say.

Transportation expert Hitoshi Ieda of the East Asia Society of Transportation Studies (EASTS) said the extensive train network that had linked Greater Jakarta could not work effectively without an inner-city transportation system.

"This is the biggest problem that most commuters would have once they arrived in the city. A good inner-city public transportation system, like the busway, should be available near train stations so they can reach their destinations easily," he told reporters Friday.

The experts also discussed the importance of developing public transportation as opposed to building more roads in Jakarta.

EASTS president Kyung Soo Chon said traffic congestion could not justify the building of more roads in the city, including elevated ones.

"Building a road in the city is not environmentally sound as it only invites more cars and produces more air pollution in the city," he said.

He said elevated roads made things even worse, as for aesthetic purposes it would be nicer to have a city of trees as scenery rather than overhead roads.

Chairman of the Indonesian Transportation Society Bambang Susantono said road construction would only be appropriate for the outskirts of the city.

"A good public transportation system is enough to link the inner part of the city. The administration and the central government should be consistent in developing it," he said.

Bambang said it would be better to spend the Rp 40 trillion planned for constructing more elevated roads next year to establish a rail-based rapid transit system linking the eastern and western parts of the city.

Hitoshi said if all public transportation systems were well integrated and carried sufficient passengers, inner-city congestion would ease.

Jakarta is one of Asia's megacities with abundant private vehicles. An international collaborative study conducted in Asia in 2004 under the STREAM project showed Jakarta had the second-highest motorcycle ownership among seven countries observed, with 339 units for every 1,000 people.

Jakarta also had about 180 cars per 1,000 people, far higher than Shanghai's 50.

The high private vehicle ownership is the consequence of the high property prices that force people working in Jakarta to live in neighboring cities, the study said.

The study also showed the population in Greater Jakarta from 1980 to 2000 relatively constant at around 7 to 8 million people, while the population in neighboring cities grew from 9 million in 1990 to about 14 million in 2000.

This has driven more people commuting to the city every day.

Jakarta has various means of public transportation, from minivans to the latest busway system.

However, these have yet to provide a fast and reliable service that entices residents into leaving their cars and motorcycles at home.

To answer the growing public complaints on the worsening congestion over the years, the central government and the city administration has agreed to build six inner city toll roads, which will cost the central government and city administration Rp 40 trillion.

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has agreed to finance the Tanjung Priok turnpike that would span from Rorotan in North Jakarta to the Tanjung Priok port.


Angry passengers stage sit-in on plane

The Jakarta Post   |  Sat, 03/29/2008 1:22 AM 

Angry passengers staged a sit-in on a Batavia Air plane following a delay at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Friday.

Airport administrator Herry Bakti said the incident occurred at about 6 p.m. Dozens of passengers going to Jambi, who were supposed to depart at 2 p.m., entered a Batavia Air plane that was scheduled to fly to Denpasar.

They reportedly staged the sit-in to press their demand for compensation from Batavia Air for their delayed flight.

“The plane was supposed to fly at 2:05 p.m., but the plane is having trouble with the weather radar. So they will be transported aboard another plane at 8:15 p.m.,” Batavia Air general manager Dexter Leopard said.

He said after the passengers were convinced they would get another plane to Jambi, they left the Denpasar-bound plane.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Broken traffic lights abandoned

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta        |  Wed, 03/26/2008 12:36 PM 

JAKARTA: The Jakarta Police's Traffic Management Center warned Monday of possible congestion due to broken traffic lights.

The 19 broken lights are located in the four municipalities of West Jakarta, North Jakarta, South and Central Jakarta.

The center said most of the broken lights were in West Jakarta's Cengkareng Barat, Joglo, Kalideres and Puri Kembangan districts.

Antara news agency reported the traffic lights had been broken since early this month, but the city transportation agency had not yet repaired them.


Vehicle document centers to open in malls

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 03/27/2008 1:02 AM

The Jakarta Police will launch a new service unit of the Motor Vehicle Document Center (SAMSAT) next month, allowing people to pay vehicle taxes and renew driver's licenses at some shopping centers.

The new unit will operate on the first floor of Artha Gading Mall in North Jakarta, the first floor of Taman Palem Mall in West Jakarta and the seventh floor of Pusat Grosir Cililitan (PGC) in East Jakarta.

"You'll be able to renew your documents while shopping. The counters will be open daily, including holidays," First Insp. Hasbi Ibrahim, in charge of document administration, told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

"Jakartans are very busy people and they need to have easy access to arrange such documents. That's why we established the outlets," he said.

Hasbi said the police chose the three shopping centers for their central locations, adding that the service might expand to other shopping centers in the future.

"This is just the beginning. If the public responds well, maybe we will open more outlets," he said.

The new service comes after the success of the police's mobile document unit, launched in 2004, that allows people to arrange vehicle documents in a variety of locations.

The mobile units operate from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on working days in five municipalities across the city. On Saturday, they are open until noon.

Hasbi said the new unit would offer a quality service similar to the mobile units, which have received public applause for quick and efficient service.

Tumpak, a resident who lives near PGC, said he welcomed the new service.

"It is a good idea because it is not far from my house. I usually renew my driving license and vehicle tax documents at the SAMSAT office in Kebon Nanas, East Jakarta," he said.

However, Tumpak said he regretted the outlet was located on the seventh floor.

"It's not practical. People have to take escalators to reach the seventh floor because there is no elevator for visitors in the shopping mall. It would be better to open the outlet on the first floor so that people don't have to go upstairs," he said. (trw)


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Police arrest 12 suspects in spate of taxi robberies targeting woman

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   |  Tue, 03/25/2008 11:20 AM  

Jakarta Police have arrested 12 suspects thought to be involved in eight taxi robberies in the city during January and February, and have seized four taxis and a rented car. 

The director of the general crimes unit at the Jakarta Police, Sr. Comr. Carlo Brix Tewu, said Monday some of the suspects have allegedly committed the robberies in small groups since last year. 

He said the police arrested the first suspect, Agusman, in Cileungsi, West Java, on March 2. His interrogation led to the arrest of the 11 other suspects. 

"The gang usually rented a taxi from a registered taxi driver, who wanted easy money, for about Rp 300,000 (US$33)," Carlo said Monday. He said each taxi was used for two or three robberies. 

"One suspect would pose as a taxi driver while the other three or four accomplices would follow in a rented car," he said. 

"The gang looked for female passengers who traveled alone and carried handbags. They usually committed the robberies in the afternoon and at night." 

After they had a passenger, the driver of the taxi would drive for several minutes before pulling over, allowing his accomplices to jump into the backseat of the vehicle. As the taxi stopped, two men would get in from both sides. 

The men would then threaten the victim with knives or screwdrivers, ordering her to hand over her cellular phones, ATM cards, money and any jewelry. 

They would tell the passengers not to scream, threatening to kill or rape them if they did. After robbing the victim, they would leave her on the street. 

Carlo said the 12 suspects could be put jailed for up to five years if convicted. 

Two of the eight taxi robberies allegedly committed by the 12 suspects in January and February took place in Central Jakarta, two others occurred in West Jakarta and the rest in South Jakarta. 

They picked up some of the passengers from shopping centers, including Ambassador Mall in South Jakarta and Plaza Senayan in Central Jakarta. 

Police confiscated a white taxi, three blue taxis and a rented blue sedan from the suspects. 

Carlo said the police would question the registered drivers who rented the taxis for the alleged robbers, and the taxi operators to find out whether they took part in the crimes. 

Taxi robberies targeting women often happen in the city. 

According to the Jakarta Police's head of the violent crimes division, Fadil Imran, police arrested 14 suspects in 28 taxi robberies in 2007. 

Carlo called on passengers to be more careful when taking cabs. 

"Passengers should ask for the registration number and the company's name when they take a taxi. Write down the driver's identity if necessary," he said. 

If the driver's identity card is nowhere to be seen, get out of the taxi immediately, he said. 

"It is safer to take taxis from credible companies and from their base. As for female passengers, they're better not to wear much jewelry to avoid crime." (trw)


Report Finds Faulty System Caused 2007 Adam Air Crash

By TOM WRIGHT, The Wall Street JournalMarch 25, 2008 7:17 a.m. 

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The Adam SkyConnections Airlines flight which crashed on New Year's Day 2007, killing all 107 people on board, was caused by a navigational systems error that distracted the pilots from the job of flying the plane, the Indonesian government said in a report published Tuesday. 

"The cockpit voice recorder revealed that both pilots were concerned about navigational problems and subsequently became engrossed with troubleshooting … with minimal regard for other flight requirements," the government report found. The Adam Air plane, a Boeing 737-400, crashed in to the sea off the coast of Sulawesi, an island northeast of Jakarta. 

The unusually blunt and detailed report is the latest evidence that Indonesia's government is taking safety more seriously after a report in November by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations body that sets global standards for the industry, lambasted the nation's inadequate regulation of airline operators. Both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Commission have downgraded Indonesia's safety record in the past 12 months, meaning the nation's carriers are banned from flying to either the U.S. or Europe. 

The industry has suffered a string of deadly crashes since Indonesia's government liberalized the aviation sector a few years ago, leading to an explosion of new local carriers. Last March, a flight operated by state-owned PT Garuda Indonesia crashed while landing at Yogyakarta's airport, killing 21 people. In 2005, a Mandala Airlines plane plowed in to a suburb of Medan, a city in north Sumatra, killing 150 people. It crashed shortly after takeoff, apparently due to engine failure. 

The spate of incidents has put pressure on Indonesia's government to act. The Transport Ministry last week took the unusual step of banning Adam Air from flying, citing poor aircraft maintenance and pilot training, and gave the airline three months to improve or have its operating license revoked. 

In the past, many reports on Indonesian crashes have either never been completed or buried inside the government. The Adam Air crash report, coming after a similarly detailed one on the Garuda incident published late last year, appears to be another sign of increased regulatory vigilance. 

Tuesday's report sets out in detail how Adam Air's failure to address persistent technical problems with its aircraft, coupled with insufficient pilot training, led to the crash. The airline, founded in 2003 by Indonesia's Suherman family, has been involved in a number of incidents since it began operations. 

On Jan. 1, 2007, Adam Air Flight 574 took off from Surabaya on Indonesia's main island of Java for Manado on the northern tip of Sulawesi, a tourist resort popular with scuba divers. About 45 minutes into the flight, the pilots began to notice problems with the plane's navigational device, known as the Inertial Reference System. 

The National Transport Safety Committee, an arm of Indonesia's Transport Ministry charged with investigating transport disasters, said the cockpit voice recording showed the pilots were trying to fix the system "for at least the last 13 minutes of the flight." 

Shortly before the plane crashed in to the sea, the pilots became concerned that the navigational system wasn't working, telling each other "this is messed up," "we can get lost if it's like this" and "she's starting to fly like a bamboo ship," according to a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder published in the report. The last recording was of the co-pilot shouting "pull up" repeatedly as the plane lost altitude. 

Logs for the 737-400 showed that various Adam Air pilots had registered problems with the navigation system 154 times in the three months leading up to the crash, but insufficient action had been taken to solve the problem. "There was also no evidence of Adam Air's maintenance management controlling the repetitive defects on their fleet prior to the accident," the report said. 

The pilots tried to reset the system, causing the autopilot to disengage automatically and the aircraft began to veer to the right, the report found. An alert sounded in the cockpit as the aircraft banked more than 35 degrees. The plane also began to lose altitude, with the aircraft's nose pointing down 65 degrees from horizontal. 

To correct the situation, the pilots attempted to bring the nose up without first leveling the wings "in accordance with standard procedure," the report said. The plane then flew out of control, spiraling downward and leading to "significant structural failure" due to increased airspeed and g-force that were "beyond the design limitations of the aircraft." 

"There was no evidence that the pilots were appropriately controlling the aircraft, even after the bank angle alert sounded," the safety committee said. 

Initially, Adam Air had blamed inclement weather for the crash, which happened during the onset of Indonesia's monsoon season. The report said it was unable to determine the exact weather at the time of the crash, but added that visibility was "marginal" due to rain and cloud. 

After the crash, it took nine days before investigators found wreckage of the plane washed up along the coast of Sulawesi. The exact location of the plane wasn't pinpointed until Jan. 27, almost a month after the crash. The fragmented remains of the craft were lying on the seabed some 2,000 meters below sea level. It took investigators until August to recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders. 

Analysis of the digital flight data recorder showed the plane had hit the sea at a steep impact angle and at high speed. Some personal effects of the victims like luggage and school bags were found but no human remains, the report said. 

Write to Tom Wright at tom.wright@dowjones.com


Related Stories:

Troubled Adam Air loses operating rights



Government targets 2009 to complete repairs on Indonesia's road network

Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post, Medan | Tue, 03/25/2008 11:20 AM

The central government has announced it plans to complete road repairs by 2009, in response to a national public outcry on the poor condition of roads.

National Development Planning Board deputy head, Max H. Pohan, said good infrastructure was vital for economic growth and the poor condition of roads could not be ignored for too long.

"The government has set 2009 as a target for completing all road repairs. We will complete the roadwork in stages in every province by prioritizing roads that lead to production centers," Max told the media Monday, after opening the 2008 North Sumatra Development and Planning Conference.

Max said North Sumatra was one of the provinces where the government would focus its roadwork project because of its role as a leader in global competition, especially since the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community.

North Sumatra Development Planning Board head, R.E. Nainggolan, said the central government would concentrate on repairing the province's east coast highway this year.

Nainggolan praised the government's efforts in focusing on the east coast highway but said it was inadequate given the extent of damaged roads in the province.

"Pretty much the entire road system in North Sumatra is in poor shape. This is likely to have a negative impact on the improvement of people's living standards," said Nainggolan.

He said, according to current data, almost 20 percent of the 2,098 kilometer national road network in the province was in poor condition, while 30 percent of the total 2,752 kilometers of provincial roads and 47 percent of the total 27,177 kilometers of regency and city roads were damaged.

Nainggolan said his office would pay close attention to infrastructure issues during the conference.

He said most, if not all, of the regional leaders in North Sumatra had voiced their concern about impeded economic growth because of the inferior condition of infrastructure.

"Many investors are reluctant to do business because of poor infrastructure in the province. This is a setback for us, but what else can we say?" Nainggolan said.

"We don't have sufficient means to restore the damaged infrastructure."


Monday, March 24, 2008

Garuda to resume Citilink operation by mid-year

The Jakarta Post

Antara , Jakarta | Fri, 03/21/2008 2:02 PM 

Flag carrier Garuda Indonesia will resume the operation of its low-cost carrier (LCC) unit Citilink in June or July which was stopped in January, director for strategy and information technology Elisa Lumban Toruan said Friday.

"CitiLink as Garuda's business unit will seriously perform as an LCC player without disregarding flight safety," she said.

"We halted the operation temporarily to formulate the most appropriate business strategy for CitiLink."

CitiLink operation was halted on Jan. 15 after suffering losses in the past three years. Earlier, the unit managed to bring profits after being established in 2001.

Elisa said Garuda was determined to develop CitiLink as a leading domestic LCC.

The airline plans to use Boeing 737-300 and expects the arrival of five aircraft this year with an expected fleet of 25 airplanes "in three or five years depending on market dynamics," said Elisa.

Contacted separately, air transportation director at Transportation's air transportation directorate general Tri Sunoko said all CitiLink's route licenses had been revoked since the unit stopped operation.

"Regulation has it that if a route is not served in 21 consecutive days than the license is automatically revoked," he said.

Citilink has to submit new license request if it wants to fly again. The government will not grant the license especially in saturated routes such as those to Denpasar, Medan and Surabaya.

Garuda has yet to spin off CitiLink although the management has several times stated that it would do so.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Troubled Adam Air loses operating rights

Novia D. Rulistia , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/19/2008 12:21 AM

The financial troubles of PT Adam Skyconnection Airlines (Adam Air) climaxed Tuesday with airline regulators revoking the company's operating certificate as of Wednesday.

"With this I revoke Adam Air's operating certificate. Adam Air is no longer allowed to operate its planes," the Transportation Ministry's director general for air transportation, Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno, said at a press conference in Jakarta.

According to regulations, the company now has three months to address its internal problems before its Aircraft Operator Certificate is permanently revoked.

Responding to the decision, Adam Air president director Adam Aditya Suherman said the airline was working to address its financial problems. He also confirmed that all operations had been shut down as of Tuesday morning.

"Our employees are deeply demoralized now. So, I suppose, this decision is in the best interest of everyone," he said.

Earlier this week, PT Bhakti Investama, which owns 19 percent of Adam Air through its unit PT Global Transport Services (GTS), and the Bright Star Perkasa business consortium, which holds a 31 percent stake, announced they were pulling out of Adam Air and selling their stakes to the airline's founder Suherman and Sandra Ang.

Bhakti Investama president director Hary Djaja said the investment company would protect the interests of its public shareholders should its investment through GTS in Adam Air cause any losses.

Hary said his firm decided to pull out of Adam Air after claims by Bhakti Investama's legal adviser, Hotman Paris Hutapea, that Adam Air's management had misused internal funds totaling Rp 2.1 trillion.

Hotman also said potential losses suffered by the government related to loans from state-owned Bank Rakyat Indonesia reached Rp 50 billion.

Hotman said his clients planned to report the misuse of funds to the Corruption Eradication Commission if the airline refused to be transparent in its financial reports, especially regarding cargo and ticket sales.

Suherman and Sandra Ang, who hold the remaining 50 percent stake in the airline, plan to buy the stake from Bhakti for Rp 100 billion in September, Hotman said.

Adam refuted Hotman's statement, saying Suherman and Sandra had not accepted the offer and that no notification had been delivered to the airline's management.

Also Tuesday, dozens of college students protested the cancellation of Adam Air flights at Soekarno-Hatta airport, Tangerang.

"We were informed of the cancellation only five minutes before the scheduled departure," one of the students, Mia Kurnaedi, 23, said as quoted by Antara news agency.

She said a group of students from Bandung, Makassar and Kalimantan were scheduled to fly to Batam aboard an Adam Air flight.

Another passenger, Hasaniah, 58, said she bought a ticket for an Adam Air flight from Jakarta to Surabaya for Rp 500,000, but was only refunded Rp 290,000 when the flight was canceled. (lva)

Police chopper made emergency landing in Banten

The Jakarta Post

Antara , Lebak, Banten | Wed, 03/19/2008 9:40 PM

Bad weather forced Wednesday afternoon a police helicopter to make an emergency landing in Lebak, Banten.

Two crew were reportedly safe after the helicopter landed at about 3 p.m. in paddy rice fields in Pariuk hamlet, Sukar Mekarsari village in Kalanganyar district.

It was reportedly that the helicopter operated by the Banten Provincial Police with tail number P 3011 was circling the area for about 15 minutes before landed.

Pilot First Insp. Ari said had to make an emergency landing because of bad weather and it was not possible to continue the flight.

"Had we continued the flight, there might be an accident. The helicopter was already unstable due to strong wind," he said.

"I was on a flight to Air Police headquarters at the Pondok Cabe Airport."

Ari was accompanied by mechanic Second Brig. Ade in the flight. (nvn)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Passenger train derails in Central Java

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A Yogyakarta-bound passenger train, dubbed Senjata Utama, derailed in the Central Java town of Bumiayu early Tuesday but none of its 420 passengers was hurt.

Head of the Purwokerto railway station Dariyadi, who confirmed the accident, said the derailed coaches were put back on the railway track at around 06.00.

The derailment forced a Jakarta-bound executive-class train named Gajayana to stop for a while at Purwokerto railway station, he said.

"Railway traffic returned to normal after the derailed coaches had been put back on the track," he said.

The cause of the accident is still unknown.

Mercedes intending to make RI bus production base for three regions


Jakarta (ANTARA News) - German auto maker Mercedes Benz intends to make Indonesia a production base for its buses for markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, a company executive said.

"Our choice fell on Indonesia because we have experience in investing in this country and Indonesia is a potential market for passenger cars like buses," Mercedes Benz CEO for Indonesia Rudi Borgenheimer said after a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla here, Tuesday.

He said, he would hold further internal meetings on the plan with the company`s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

"The formal decision (to make Indonesia a Mercedes Benz bus production base) will possibly be taken within the next six months. After that, in two or three years our factory in Indonesia (in Gunung Putri, Bogor) can begin production," he added.

To increase its bus production capacity to 9,000 units and meet demand in the three regions of the world, Mercedes Benz would have to make a total investment of some 10 million Euro.

Currently, Mercedes Benz was turning out 600 buses and 2,250 sedans per year in Indonesia.

With the plan to make Indonesia a bus production base for three regions, the company would increase its production capacity to 9,000 units per year, Brgenheimer said.

"We are optimistic about this plan. Because we have the experience and a good history in Indonesia. In the early 1990s we were producing 2,000 buses per year in Indonesia," he said.

Adam Air may soon halt all flights

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta , | Tue, 03/18/2008 1:16 AM

Budget carrier PT Adam Skyconnection Airlines (Adam Air) announced Monday it was scaling down operations and might stop all flights this Friday until further notice, due to its inability to settle insurance payments.

In a statement made available to The Jakarta Post, the airline said the insurance payments were due March 20 and no agreement had been reached on the issue.

The airline has reduced its flights since Monday, currently serving passengers traveling between Jakarta and a number of major cities only; Medan in North Sumatra, Padang in West Sumatra, Denpasar in Bali, Surabaya in East Java and Bengkulu; with 11 planes.

Normally, the company serves 21 destinations per day using a total of 22 planes.

This comes just days after two shareholders pulled out of the company amid an internal rift, which included an allegation of the misuse of company funds totaling Rp 2.1 trillion.

The two shareholders are Global Transport Service (GTS), a subsidiary of PT Bhakti Investama, which owns 19 percent of Adam Air, and the Bright Star Perkasa business consortium, which holds a 31 percent stake.

The allegation of misuse of funds was made by the shareholders' legal adviser, Hotman Paris Hutapea. Adam Air has flatly denied the accusation, saying the two shareholders knew all along about the company's financial condition.

The Suherman family, including Adam Air president director Adam Suherman, and Sandra Ang own a 50 percent stake in the airline.

Adam said the airline had yet to receive any legal notification that the shareholders had pulled out of Adam Air.

The rift with shareholders has led to the company scaling down operations, forcing the government to step in and facilitate negotiations.

A meeting was held between the airline and shareholders on Monday, facilitated by the Transportation Ministry's director general for air transportation, according to J.A. Barata, spokesman for the National Committee for Transportation Safety.

"Adam Air's planes can't fly because the investors (shareholders) can't settle their differences over investment problems. Meanwhile, insurance is mandatory for every flight," Barata said, in explaining the reasons behind the company's decision to scale down operations.

The airline's decision prior to a long national holiday later this week has left thousands of ticket-holders in the lurch.

In Yogyakarta, hundreds of customers and travel agents gathered at Adam Air's office on Jl. Diponegoro seeking refunds.

"Right now, I'm more worried about how I can get to Jakarta on the 20th," said Dewi after receiving a full refund for her ticket. (lva)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One killed as training plane crashes in Jakarta

The Times of India

JAKARTA: A training aircraft crashed into a house in the Indonesian capital on Sunday, killing at least one person, police said.

"The aircraft crashed into a house in Villa Pamulang, according to residents who called us at 7:20 am (local time)," first inspector Alif from Pamulang subdistrict in South Jakarta said.

Alif said residents reported that the pilot was found dead but could not provide further details.

There were no immediate details on the type of aircraft or whether anyone else was killed or injured in the house it hit.

A witness, a woman identified only as Lis, told ElShinta radio that the plane had been flying low and suddenly veered to the right before crashing into the house.

"The sound was like sputtering," Lis said about hearing the aircraft engine shortly before it crashed.

The Villa Pamulang housing complex is not far from Pondok Cabe airstrip which is used by small private aircraft.

But airstrip employee Suryadi said there was no record of a plane taking off early Sunday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

City to have more elevated roads as of next year


Mustaqim Adamrah , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/12/2008 11:55 AM

Governor Fauzi Bowo said Tuesday the capital would start a Rp 40 trillion (US$4.2 billion) project constructing elevated roads across all municipalities in Jakarta next year. Six toll roads are included in the project.

"We must understand that horizontal road expansion is no longer a favorable solution in easing traffic jams," he said at City Hall.

"Therefore, we have no other choice except to build more elevated roads."

He said elevated toll roads were also part of a plan to generate revenue for the city.

"We could use more revenue from toll roads to fund the development of other roads, as well as the development of an MRT, the monorail and the busway," said Fauzi.

The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is a rail system Jakarta has been planning since 1984. Plans to begin construction this year have again been delayed until 2010.

He said, however, more research was required to measure the impacts of the construction, such as congestion.

"Both the central government and the city administration agree road expansion on ground level will not solve transportation issues in the city," he said.

"But we can think of another way to solve traffic problems. We have to carefully decide the locations of the toll road exits and entrances in the design."

Wrong locations of toll road exits and entrances, Fauzi said, would create worse traffic jams.

He also said the money needed to fund the elevated roads project would come from the administration, the capital market, the money market and loan syndicates.

Fauzi said the city would start the toll road construction in North Jakarta because MRT construction was planned for the same time in the south.

The Rp 8.3 trillion ($913 million) MRT project will stretch 14.3 kilometers from Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta, to Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta and is expected to be finished in 2014.

In addition, Fauzi said the design would also calculate increased air pollution resulting from road expansions that consequently encourage more people to use vehicles.

The six planned toll roads

  1. Rawa Buaya, West Jakarta - Sunter, North Jakarta 18.6 km
  2. Kemayoran, Central Jakarta - Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta 9.7 km
  3. Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta - Casablanca, South Jakarta 9 km
  4. Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta - Tomang, West Jakarta 12 km
  5. Sunter, North Jakarta - Pulo Gebang, East Jakarta 12.5 km
  6. Ulujami, South Jakarta - Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta 8.6 km


Jakarta's road repairs to start next week, says city agency

Mustaqim Adamrah , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Wed, 03/12/2008 1:35 AM

The city public works agency said Tuesday it would start fixing damaged roads in Jakarta permanently next week.

Agency head Wisnu Subagya Yusuf said, "It will be safer to repair damaged roads in the third week of March when the rainy season is about to be over and rainfall starts to drop, based on the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency's forecast," he said at City Hall.

"It will be a waste to repair damaged roads while it's still raining."

Heavy rains and poor drainage have caused water to sit in large pools which, coupled with the city's heavy traffic, have corroded street surfaces.

For several weeks, motorists have been forced to maneuver around potholes on many of the city's streets.

The city police's Traffic Management Center recorded 129 damaged spots throughout the city on March 9.

From Jan. 1 to Mar. 9 the center recorded 39 accidents related to damaged roads.

The accidents caused nine deaths, 27 casualties and slower traffic jams, the center said Monday.

Damaged roads have also hurt the Indonesian economy, a government report said.

Up to 60 percent of the country's exports and imports have been slowed because of damaged roads leading to Tanjung Priok port.

According to Wisnu, damaged roads accounted for 1.06 percent of a total of 39 million square meters of Jakarta's roads by the end of December last year.

"However, the figure rebounded to 1.71 percent in early February due to heavy rain that peaked on Feb. 1 and 2 after dropping to 0.71 percent by the end of January due to the agency's work," Wisnu said.

"Road structures become more fragile when rain falls, creating pools," he said.

"All we can do at the moment is swift repairs by patching potholes. It's a move towards zero potholes."

The agency, he said, had patched 1,940 square meters of potholes created along busway lanes and 13,771 square meters of potholes along other roads.

Wisnu said the agency would have a total of Rp 263 billion this year to repair roads throughout the capital.

But he said the city ideally needed approximately Rp 280 billion on an annual basis to maintain all Jakarta's roads.

"As a consequence of a limited budget this year, we'll buy local raw materials, instead of importing them," he said.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bad roads blamed for deaths

The Jakarta Post | Tue, 03/11/2008 11:02 AM

JAKARTA: Damaged roads in Jakarta are to blame for seven deaths and 19 casualties in just over one month, according to Jakarta Police records. The injuries and deaths occurred between Feb. 1 and Mar. 9, in 29 accidents blamed on damaged roads in the capital, the Traffic Management Center said Monday.

As of March, the center recorded 120 sites where roads were damaged in Jakarta, causing traffic congestions and putting road users at risk.

The city administration and the city council have allocated Rp 22 billion (US$2.3 million) in the budget for road repairs.

Commuters enjoy less travel time due to new busway rule

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta , | Tue, 03/11/2008 1:38 AM

On the first day the busway returned exclusivity to its lanes, TransJakarta passengers enjoyed shorter commuting time while other motorists were caught in the city's usual traffic jams.

The administration on Monday restored its policy of banning other vehicles from busway lanes.

"It only took about 40 minutes from Ragunan to my office in Kuningan. When they allowed motorists to use busway lanes, it took about 90 minutes. If it rained, it could take about two hours," said a passenger, Ficky.

"For me, fast travel is the most important thing, comfort comes second. I don't mind standing on the bus, as long as it's fast," she said.

Another passenger, Retno, shared her opinion.

"I was quite surprised that it only took 15 minutes from Duren Tiga to Kuningan. It usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes," said Retno, who works at a telecommunications company.

She said the frequency has also improved; it took her less than five minutes to wait for a bus where previously it took about 30 minutes.

Last week, Governor Fauzi Bowo said the city administration would again ban all other motorists from using seven busway corridors because the lanes were originally designed only for busway buses.

The ruling is expected to increase the number of busway passengers, which has seen a 14 percent drop since last November when a policy allowing non-TransJakarta vehicles to use busway lanes was introduced.

The policy was implemented in response to motorists' complaints about worsening congestion, exacerbated by the construction of new corridors, as on Jl. S. Parman in West Jakarta and Jl. Metro Pondok Indah, South Jakarta.

Both Ficky and Retno hope the administration will maintain the implementation of busway lane exclusivity for the sake of passenger comfort.

"I also hope the administration will improve busway services, by adding more buses, for example," Ficky said.

Motorists see the issue differently.

Lia, who drives from her office in Mampang to her home in Taman Sari, Central Jakarta, said she had to find alternative roads to avoid the traffic jams yesterday.

"Traffic jams are nothing new for Mampang motorists, but today (Monday), the traffic was crazy. I even had to find another route to get home," said Lia.

To implement the new policy, an official at the Traffic Management Center (TMC), Briptu Purwanto, said police deployed about 2,500 officers, comprising 1,500 traffic police, 500 patrol officers and 500 subdistrict police.

The Jakarta Transportation Agency also deployed 616 officers.

Agency head Nurahman said his office would continue to deploy officials to apply the policy. "But we will decrease the number of personnel. We hope motorists understand they can not use the busway lanes." (trw)

Adam Air skids sideways off runway, Batam

Fadli , The Jakarta Post , Batam | Tue, 03/11/2008 1:38 AM

A passenger plane carrying 177 people skidded off the runway during heavy rain on its second landing attempt at Hang Nadim airport in Batam, Riau Islands province, on Monday.

The Boeing 737-400 overshot the runway to the right by 75 meters at 10:22 a.m.

At least one passenger, Ari, was reported to have broken his neck, but no further casualties were reported.

Ari's sister-in-law Mira said he lost consciousness after the crash and was rushed to a local hospital in Batam.

Several people were treated for shock.

Airport operations head Pantun Banjarnahor said the plane "experienced a hard landing, which led to the damage of the front landing gear".

"The plane skidded 75 meters off the runway and nearly entered the nearby forest," Pantun said.

There were 169 adult passengers on board, two children and six crew members.

One passenger, Purwanto, said the plane failed to land on its first attempt due to heavy rain.

He said the pilot's second attempt to land saw the plane bounce three times along the runway before it skidded off and came to a stop.

"Nearly all passengers became hysterical at this point," Purwanto said.

All passengers were evacuated to the passenger terminal where they were provided with lunch.

Indonesia's airline industry has grown rapidly in the past decade, with the launch of new players and a wider choice of routes across the archipelago.

But the country has suffered a string of airline disasters in recent years, raising concerns about safety standards and prompting the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from its airspace.

In January 2007, an Adam Air plane crashed into the sea off Sulawesi island and all 102 passengers have been presumed dead.

Adam Air planes have also experienced a number of non-fatal incidents in recent years, Reuters said.

Indonesian mily train chopper crashes in Subang, one killed

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - An Indonesian Air Force train helicopter Bell 47G Soloy of the Squadron 7 of the Subang Air Force Base in West Java crashed on Tuesday at 00.30 pm, killing one of its crew members.

The ill-fated helicopter crashed at Sukamandi village, Pegaden sub district, Subang district.

A source at the Air Force Headquarters said the dead victim was identified as First Lt Hengky. The identity of another crew member who was injured remained unclear. However, he has been rushed to the Subang Hospital for further treatment.

The Air Force has sent a team to the crash site to look into the cause of the accident.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bogor youths organize green day

The Jakarta Post, Sat, 03/08/2008 12:10 PM

Around 100 young Christians from various churches in Bogor municipality spent Friday cleaning a number of main roads in the city, in cooperation with the city's Environment Agency.

"This activity aims to encourage young people in Bogor to care for the environment," Andri one of the youths said.

At the end of the activity, the group had collected at least 20 large bags of garbage, mostly comprising leaves from rows of trees along Jl. Padjajaran, Jl. Juanda and Jl. Suryakencana in Bogor.

Many of them found roadside gutters were clogged with leaves and mud.

Separately, the young congregation at Santo Andreas Catholic church in Ciluar district, Bogor, held a video screening and discussion of environmental issues.

The video showed the connection between global warming and the bible, citing verses from Genesis that say when God created the earth, the sky and the contents, they were beautiful. It later showed how global warming has damaged the earth, like the melting of the polar ice cap at the North Pole.

"Afterwards, we held a discussion and decided to do something within reach. We decided to work with local people, to clean up our environment and plant trees," Yuni, one of the youths told The Jakarta Post. .

"We will also distribute garbage bins to public elementary schools here," Yuni added. -Theresia Sufa

Shuttle provided for Monas park tours


Mon, 03/10/2008 1:25 PM (Jakarta Post /J. Adiguna)(JP/J. Adiguna)

A number of kids smiled happily inside a new shuttle bus making rounds at Monas Park on Sunday morning, the day the shuttle was launched.

The shuttle was launched by the city administration for visitors to the Central Jakarta park which is the location of Monas national monument.

The launching of the minibuses -- at the park's southwest gate -- was attended by Governor Fauzi Bowo .

Head of the Culture and Museum Agency Aurora Tambunan said there were two shuttles, each three-cars-long and able to carry 36 passengers.

Topped with decorative Betawi-style roofs, the shuttle is four meters long, 1.7 wide and 2 high. The shuttle takes 10 minutes to reach the base of the monument from the southwest gate, some 800 meters away.

"We decided to offer a shuttle because visitors were complaining about the distance from the parking area to the monument," Aurora said Sunday as quoted by Beritajakarta.com.

She added that it was a sunny, hot walk.

Aurora said the minibuses would run free of charge from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

At a ceremony Governor Fauzi Bowo said he hoped people would look after the new vehicles.

"The shuttles represent Rp 800 million (around US$88,000) in public funds. So I ask visitors to take care of them," Fauzi said.

Monas is the largest public park in the city and measures 80 hectares.


Adam Air plane skids at Batam`s airport

Batam (ANTARA News) - An Adam Air passenger plane skidded on the runway on landing at Batam`s Hang Nadim airport on Monday, eventually causing delays in the arrival of four incoming and the departure of three outgoing flights, Airport Administrator Razali Djaya said here on Monday.

"Seven flights, three outgoing and four incoming, were delayed due to the mishap ," he said.

Hang Nadim airport was closed to all flights for two hours after the accident which took place at 12.30 pm.

Batavia flights from Jakarta to Batam were diverted to Pekanbaru, Riau province while those of Sriwijaya, Lion Air and Air Asia were forced to return to Jakarta.

Two flights from Batam bound for Natuna were also delayed, namely those of Merpati and Lion Air.

Adam Air`s flight KI 292 skidded on the runway when it landed at the airport. All of its 171 passengers were safe but two of them suffered traumatic shock.

Bad weather and a wet runway due to rains had caused the plane to skid off the runway, head of the airport`s aviation security division E Amir said.

The plane which departed from Jakarta at 8 am local time, came to a stop about 10 meters from the end of the runway at Batam`s airport but all passengers were safe, Adam Air`s Director of Operations Captain Irawan S said in Jakarta following the accident.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Britain makes camera that "sees" under clothes

LONDON (Reuters) - A British company has developed a camera that can detect weapons, drugs or explosives hidden under people's clothes from up to 25 meters away in what could be a breakthrough for the security industry.

The T5000 camera, created by a company called ThruVision, uses what it calls "passive imaging technology" to identify objects by the natural electromagnetic rays -- known as Terahertz or T-rays -- that they emit.

The high-powered camera can detect hidden objects from up to 80 feet away and is effective even when people are moving. It does not reveal physical body details and the screening is harmless, the company says.

The technology, which has military and civilian applications and could be used in crowded airports, shopping malls or sporting events, will be unveiled at a scientific development exhibition sponsored by Britain's Home Office on March 12-13.

"Acts of terrorism have shaken the world in recent years and security precautions have been tightened globally," said Clive Beattie, the chief executive of ThruVision.

"The ability to see both metallic and non-metallic items on people out to 25 meters is certainly a key capability that will enhance any comprehensive security system."

While the technology may enhance detection, it may also increase concerns that Britain is becoming a surveillance society, with hundreds of thousands of closed-circuit television cameras already monitoring people countrywide every day.

ThruVision came up with the technology for the T5000 in collaboration with the European Space Agency and from studying research by astronomers into dying stars.

The technology works on the basis that all people and objects emit low levels of electromagnetic radiation. Terahertz rays lie somewhere between infrared and microwaves on the electromagnetic spectrum and travel through clouds and walls.

Depending on the material, the signature of the wave is different, so that explosives can be distinguished from a block of clay and cocaine is different from a bag of flour.

(Reporting by Luke Baker)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Milestone under ADB Financed Roads Project Reached

Asian Development Bank

Banda Aceh, INDONESIA – On Wednesday 5 March 2008, officials from BRR, the Indonesian government’s agency responsible for post-tsunami and earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aceh and Nias, the Banda Aceh city government as well as from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) witnessed the placement of a beam of the Laguna Bridge, an important milestone under the ongoing project for the reconstruction of the roads linking the port area at Ulee Lheue to the city center of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), and to the Aceh West Coast Road.

“This project is the crown jewel of the reconstruction projects in Banda Aceh,” says Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, Head of BRR. “I’m eager to see its successful completion in November this year.”

The mayor of Banda Aceh, Mawardi Nurdin, says, “We’d like to give great thanks to ADB for its many contributions to Banda Aceh, such as this road, the many houses rebuilt as well as other public facilities.”

The road project serves the Meuraxa communities as well as providing access to the ports serving the Banda Aceh fishing industry and the ferry service to Sabang on Pulau Weh, which is a well-know tourist destination and has the potential to become a regional deep sea water port.

The December 2004 earthquake and tsunami caused widespread damage to the residential and commercial areas as well as infrastructure and roads in the Ulee Lheue - Meuraxa area. In addition, ground levels were distorted with some places subsiding more than one meter causing much of what was formerly dry land to be submerged, with other areas being higher than previously.

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