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

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

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. …

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Engine problems force 2 emergency landings

Mariani Dewi and Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Bandung 

In two separate incidents this week, engine problems forced two light aircraft to make emergency landings in West Java. 

A Cessna 172, registration PK-SDQ, landed at Kilometer 71.4 of the Cikampek toll road Wednesday, and a Diamond DA-40 light airplane, registration PK-VVL, made an emergency landing in Ciputat on Tuesday. 

There were no casualties from either incident. 

The Cessna, owned by Alfa Flying School and carrying three people, departed from Halim Perdanakusumah airport in East Jakarta en route for Cirebon, West Java. 

Student pilots Edo Barokah, 19, and MP Nurhuda, 31, were accompanied by instructor Ratu Fariha, 47, who decided to land the aircraft on the toll road at about 8:15 a.m. when it reportedly lost power. 

The plane rolled for about 500 meters along the emergency lane before coming to a stop. 

"No cars were hit because the toll road was quite empty at that time. Usually it is crowded," Robert Sitorus of state-owned toll road operator PT Jasa Marga told The Jakarta Post. 

"The plane occupied only one of the two lanes so the traffic was under control," he added. 

The plane was then pushed into a rest area for inspection and modifications before being towed to Halim Perdanakusumah airport at about 6 p.m. 

National Transportation Safety Committee chief Tatang Kurniadi said the committee was still investigating the reason for the emergency landing, reported. 

He said the plane had met requirements and was deemed safe to fly. 

In the other incident, at about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a Susi Air airplane landed on a firing range in the hilly Army Infantry Training Center compound, some 40 kilometers from the West Java provincial capital Bandung. 

Head of the operations section at Bandung's Husein Sastranegara airport said the airplane was carrying three people and had taken off from Halim Perdanakusumah airport in Jakarta. 

"It was an emergency landing and not a crash," he said without giving further information. 

Susi Air owner, Susi Pujiastuti, said the Austrian-made aircraft was on its way to Nusawiru airport in Pangandaran, Ciamis, on West Java's southern coast. 

Piloted by Strunan Robertson, the airplane was carrying two mechanics to fix another Susi Air airplane that had broken down at Nusawiru airport. 

"There was engine trouble during the flight and it was decided to make an emergency landing," Susi said when contacted from Bandung. 

Susi said the aircraft's propeller gear was damaged after hitting the ground on the uneven grass field. 

She said the National Transportation Safety Committee had been contacted for investigation purposes.

Hazardous industrial waste lacks monitoring

Triwik Kurniasari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta    

Environmental impact assessments (Amdal) are still not being enforced, with rivers becoming increasingly polluted while many industries do not properly treat their waste, environmentalists said Wednesday. 

Industrial firms believe Amdal is only an administrative formality, said Hasbi Azis from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment's (Walhi) Jakarta chapter. 

"It (Amdal) has not been applied properly. Only 10 percent of 200 industrial companies in Jakarta have waste treatment facilities," Hasbi said during a dialogue at the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) office on Jl. Thamrin, Central Jakarta. 

"Besides that, there are 54 factories expelling hazardous waste with no Amdal. The factories dump their waste into the city's rivers. And this doesn't count the waste dumped by hospitals in the city," he said. 

According to the Walhi research division, 90 percent of hospitals in Jakarta dispose of their waste at public dumps, he said. 

"This kind of waste should be separated from other waste because it is very dangerous. The administration should provide a special dump and treatment facility for hospital waste so it doesn't harm people," he said. 

Hasbi also criticized the Jakarta Environmental Management Board (BPLHD) and the State Ministry for the Environment for not taking strict action against industrial firms disobeying the environment law. 

"BPLHD has the authority to take stern measures against alleged polluters who do not build waste treatment facilities." 

Hermien Roosita from the State Ministry for the Environment said there had been many Amdal violations, but it was not easy to take the cases to court. 

"It is the police who investigate and take the cases to the attorney's offices. If they stop the investigation, there is nothing we can do nothing about it," Hermien said. 

She said the ministry was also drafting a revision of the 2007 law on environmental management to improve law enforcement. 

"In the draft, both industrial firms and officers face sanctions if they disobeyed the law on Amdal. 

"Industrialists risk a six-month jail sentence and Rp 1 billion (US$94,000) fine, while the officers face a minimum two-year jail sentence and a Rp 100 million fine," Hermien said. 

"We hope the revised law will effectively solve disputes over environmental pollution between industrial firms, the administration and residents." 

Walhi faces obstacles every time it tries to resolve environmental disputes at court, Hasbi said. 

"We receive more than 100 environmental complaints every year, but we fail to win the cases. We have difficulty obtaining evidence," he said. 

"Once we were in court and the prosecutor nullified our evidence, including photographs and video recordings, by saying it was not enough to prove the allegation," he said, adding that there was a lack of environmental understanding among law enforcers. 

"The government should hold routine training on the environment for officers at district attorney's offices and the attorney general's office."

Construction of Jakarta`s subway to start earlier

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - The Jakarta city administration said it will start construction of an underground railway track one year earlier than the original schedule of 2010. 

Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said apart from facilitating economic development in the city, the project will help provide jobs for 50,000 people. Local products will make up most of the building materials and equipment used in the construction of the project, Bowo said. 

Construction will be handled by a Japanese contractor in cooperation with local partners, Bisnis Indonesia reported. 

Source: Business in Asia Today - Oct. 29, 2008 / published by Asia Pulse

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City to move on projects to create employment

Tifa Asrianti, The Jakarta PostJakarta  

In anticipation of a looming global financial crisis and mass layoffs, the city administration says it will push forward several labor-intensive projects. 

Governor Fauzi Bowo said his administration would expedite projects that create employment, in a bid to soften the blow to Jakarta from the economic downturn. 

"We will accelerate the budget disbursement and start projects such as river dredging, subway construction and school operational funds. It will be a pro-poor policy because it will create jobs," he said. 

"The city budget may only be 10 percent of the regional domestic product, but it is still the economic motor. So once it's disbursed, we expect the work to start rolling in." 

The city administration is planning to dredge Jakarta's rivers and waterways to tackle flooding. 

One of the projects is the dredging of 12 waterways, slated for completion in December. The Rp 23 billion (US$2.4 million) project will dredge 243,322 cubic meters of garbage out of the waterways, which vary in length from 467 meters to 3,533 meters. 

"We expect to sign a contract with the tender winner by the end of this month," said Budi Widiantoro, deputy head of the city's public works agency. 

State-of-the-art dredging equipment will be brought in from the Netherlands to dredge the Ancol and Mati canals and the Pademangan River. 

"With the equipment already at Tanjung Priok Port, we can start dredging the canals in November," Fauzi said. 

Besides dredging minor waterways, the city administration will next year dredge the 13 major rivers crisscrossing the city, using a Rp 1.2 trillion loan from the World Bank. 

Mochamad Tauchid Tjakra Amidjaja, the city's transportation agency head, said his office would try to expedite land acquisition for the subway project, expected to help ease Jakarta's notoriously atrocious traffic jams. 

The administration says it will complete the land acquisition in 2009 and continue with the subway construction in 2010. 

"The land acquisition and construction can be done simultaneously. We will use Rp 22 billion to acquire 7,000 square meters of land near Lebak Bulus Terminal in South Jakarta to build the subway depot and final station. We're still in discussions with the South Jakarta mayor," Tauchid said. 

Fauzi was upbeat about the projects' prospects of creating enough jobs. 

"We will also prepare for mass layoffs in industries affected by the global financial turmoil. We have asked businesses to find alternatives to such layoffs," he said.

SBY hints at lowering fuel prices

Abdul Khalik and Alfian, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta    

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has hinted at his willingness to lower fuel prices, a move considered decisive in making or breaking his administration ahead of elections next year. 

Yudhoyono said Tuesday the government was studying the possibility of a fuel price cut as global crude oil prices continued their decline. 

"We are studying intensively a plan to lower the fuel prices. If it's considered effective, I will make the decision to lower them," Yudhoyono said after meeting with Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. 

"If (oil) prices keep falling and our (subsidy) calculation is sufficiently sound, it is my moral obligation to reduce the burden on our people," he said. 

Analysts say a cut in fuel prices would drastically boost the popularity of the Yudhoyono administration just months ahead of the upcoming elections, especially among middle- and lower-income voters. 

Indonesia has long maintained a hefty subsidy to keep fuel for motorists and households below international market prices. 

Energy minister Purnomo said the government was unlikely to lower the cost of all type of fuels, because the subsidy for most of the fuel this year was expected to exceed the allocation, due to a spike in global oil prices earlier this year. 

Ministry figures show subsidy spending reached Rp 130.9 trillion (US$13 billion) as of October, far higher than the initially allocated Rp 126.82 trillion for the entire year. 

"I think the most feasible fuel to see a price cut immediately is Premium gasoline," Purnomo said. 

Subsidized Premium currently retails at Rp 6,000 per liter, 9.4 percent lower than the non-subsidized price of Rp 6,622. 

Purnomo said the non-subsidized price was equivalent to the market price under the Indonesian Crude Price (ICP) benchmark of US$70 per barrel on average. The ICP is currently at $73.50. 

Purnomo said it was impossible to simultaneously lower the prices of diesel, kerosene and three-kilogram-canister LPG this year, because their price disparity with global prices were wider than that of Premium. 

State oil and gas company PT Pertamina data shows the price for non-subsidized kerosene in Jakarta, sold to industry, reached Rp 7,629 per liter as of Oct. 15, while the subsidized price was set at Rp 2500 per liter. 

The House of Representatives on Monday officially asked the government to cut fuel prices in the wake of a steep fall in global oil prices, in a move that could galvanize support for the current administration. 

The House's Commission VII, which oversees energy and mineral resources affairs, said lower fuel prices would cushion the economy against the impact of a looming global economic recession.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Indonesia seeks 'partial' lifting of flight ban

Dadan Wijaksana, The Jakarta Post, Beijing 

National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia may be allowed to fly to Europe as early as November, with the government seeking a "partial" revocation of a ban on Indonesian airlines from entering the region. 

The European Commission (EC) ban applies to all Indonesian airlines, but with efforts to lift the ban progressing slowly, the government is now calling on the EU to revoke the ban on Garuda at least, Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said here over the weekend. 

Hassan was part of an Indonesian delegation, led by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, that visited Beijing from Oct. 22 to 26 to take part in the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). 

Leaders from the two continents used the ASEM summit to discuss measures needed to tackle the global financial crisis. The meeting turned out to be a prelude to a highly anticipated summit of developed and emerging economies in Washington next month to draw up collective measures to prevent the world from slipping into recession. 

On the sidelines of the ASEM summit, Yudhoyono met with Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the EC -- the executive arm of the European Union -- and French President Nicolas Sarkozy who is the current EU president. 

Hassan confirmed that Indonesia's request to revoke the ban on Garuda was one of the issues discussed during the meeting with Barroso and Sarkozy. 

"The response was good. It (partial revocation) has happened before. They said they would look into it," he said, adding that a decision might be made during the EU meeting in November. 

Garuda has no direct flights to Europe but had hoped to introduce some. The airline claims it has met all the necessary requirements on safety standards and has boasted a few awards from internationally recognized aviation safety agencies. 

The EU imposed the ban in mid-2007 due to safety concerns following a spate of fatal accidents involving Indonesian airlines. 

Garuda president Emirsyah Satar said the company appreciated the government's efforts and would leave the decision to the EC. 

"On our part, I think we have done enough (to meet the safety requirements). It's out of our hands now. We'll just have to wait and see," Emirsyah said Sunday.

IRN to build Rp3t Sumatra railway, roads

Khairul Saleh, The Jakarta Post, Baturaja, South Sumatra 

PT Inti Rajawali Nusantara (IRN) plans to build roads and railways in Bengkulu and South Sumatra provinces at a cost of around Rp 3 trillion (US$300 million). 

The projects will connect Muaraenim in South Sumatra and Linau Bintuhan in Bengkulu. The roads and the railway will pass through Ogan Komering Ulu and Ogan Komering Ulu Selatan in South Sumatra, IRN president director Hakman Novi said recently. 

The company is developing transportation infrastructure to facilitate the conveyance of its mining and plantation products such as coal and crude palm oil. 

Currently, IRN depends on the railway from Tanjung Enim, Muaraenim regency, for transporting the company's products to Palembang or Lampung. 

The new roads and railway will shorten the distance for transporting coal from the South Sumatran cities to the three major seaports, Tanjung Enim and Tanjung Api-Api in South Sumatra, and Tanjung Karang in Lampung. 

Once the new roads have been developed, the distance by road between Tanjung Enim to Linau Bintuahan will only be 150 kilometers. 

In the long-term, the company also plans to develop the seaport of Linau into an international class gateway to the provinces of Bengkulu and South Sumatra. 

"This will attract more investors and create jobs while at the same time offering safe, efficient, and competitive transportation, which will facilitate the development of the industries of the two regions," he said. 

The planned Rp 3 trillion investment would be spent during the next 3 to 5 years, he said. 

"Every legal requirement will be met, including the permit from the Forestry Ministry because the project will pass through the Bukit Raja Mandara protected forest," he said. 

"The land compensation for the people of the affected areas will be paid wholly by the company," he said. "No government funds are being used for this project." 

Ogan Komering Ulu regent Yuli Nawawi said that he appreciated the projects planned by IRN. 

He emphasized that central and provincial governments would ensure that the company used only the areas designated in their surveys for the purposes already stipulated. 

He added that the projects, for which all permits must be properly issued, would speed up the development of the region.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

RI lobbied European leaders on flight ban during ASEM summit

Beijing (ANTARA News) - Indonesia took the opportunity of the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) here on Friday and Saturday to lobby European leaders to lift the EU's ban on Indonesian airline flights to Europe. 

Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said here on Saturday evening President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had raised the flight ban issue at a meeting with EU president Jose Manuel Barroso on the summit's sidelines. 

Yudhoyono did the same when he met several European leaders in succession, including French President Nicholas Sarkozy, Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer , Bulgarian President Yves Leterme, and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. 

"I , for my part, also discussed the matter with the British foreign minister and other European foreign ministers I met at the forum," Wirayuda said. 

According to Wirayuda, the EU Commission was in principle sticking to its previously stated position, namely that Indonesia should revise its transportation law to better ensure passengers' safety. 

The EU also wanted to see safety regulations at airline operators' level, he said. 

After Indonesia's transportation law had been revised, the EU would conduct periodic assessments of Indonesian airlines' safety conditions until they reached a score of 65. 

"The scores of some of the airlines , in fact, have now already risen from 25 to 35," he added. 

The minister said he hoped the EU could lift the ban on the Indonesian airlines one by one. 

He said the EU had admitted there had been an improvement in the safety performance of three airlines, namely Garuda Indonesia, Merpati and Airfast. 

At a meeting with the EU president, Wirayuda said, the EU explained that they had not discriminated against Indonesian airlines. "They said they had recently also banned two EU airlines. So they are not discriminating," he said. 

He said the European leaders that had talked with Indonesia even showed their preparedness to help Indonesia. "They asked about what had really been the problem and what they could do to help," he said. 

The minister said the negotiations with the EU would continue until the ban was lifted. 

He hoped at least they could first lift the ban on airlines that had already improved their safety performance. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trash pickers work on bicycles

The Jakarta Post, Fri, 10/24/2008 1:34 PM  

JAKARTA: The City Sanitation Agency has deployed 150 to 200 trash pickers riding bicycles or motorcycles to pick up household trash in every municipality in the city, an official says. 

"The bicycles and motorcycles can reach residential areas only accessible via small alleys. We established the bike team because we have a limited number of garbage trucks and the trucks can't operate 24-hours-a-day," agency head Eko Bharuna said Wednesday. 

He said his agency only had 765 garbage trucks, but that 1,000 were needed. 

He said the transportation method was still being evaluated as the team had only been in operation for seven months. 

Each bicycle/motorcycle is equipped with an orange tin box mounted at the rear to hold the garbage. 

He said his agency had allocated Rp 300 million to procure the vehicles and that if the team proved effective he would expand the fleet next year. 

Jakarta produces 6,250 tons of garbage every day

Crisis center says 20 areas prone to flood in Jakarta

The Jakarta Post |  Sat, 10/18/2008 9:56 AM  |  Jakarta 

The Jakarta Crisis Center has reported that as of Friday there are 20 locations in the city already witnessing a rise in water level. The condition likely to worsen as the city enters the rainy season. 

The crisis center advised the public within the area to remain alert while the city administration engaging in measures to minimize impact. 

The locations are spread evenly in four municipalities: 

  • North Jakarta (Sunter Agung, Koja, Penjaringan and Rawa Badak)
  • South Jakarta (bukit Duri, Pondok Karya and Bintaro)
  • Central Jakarta (Petamburan, Bendungan Hilir, Kebon Melati, Karet Tengsin, Tanah Abang, Kemayoran, North Gunung Sahari and Cempaka Putih)
  • West Jakarta (Rawa Buaya, Kapuk and Tegal Alur)
  • East Jakarta (Cawang and Kampung Melayu)

The Central Jakarta administration has been moving to prepare citizens should the worst happen. 

“We have requested the citizens to dump their waste in designated places, clean the sewers, especially those in their own neighborhood. That is at least what they can do,” said Central Jakarta’s chief of public works, Agus Priyono. 

Agus also said the city administration was cooperating with local the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) in setting up medical posts and flood evacuation center in 8 districts and 44 districts. 

According to the National Development Planning Agency, although the impact of the last year’s inundations in February on the overall national economy has been limited, it inflicted a total of Rp 8.8 trillion (US$897.6 million) in losses. 

Losses in the economic activities category amounted to Rp 2.9 trillion, including Rp 2 trillion in losses suffered by 75 large-scale industrial companies operating mainly in the automotive and electronics sectors. 

In addition, losses of Rp 742.6 billion were suffered by 560 small and medium enterprises in the textiles sector, and 2,100 in the furniture sector, while Rp 46.5 billion in losses were suffered by more than 16,000 street vendors, and Rp 62 billion by vendors in 40 traditional markets. 

Meanwhile, the floods damaged Rp 48.8 billion-worth of community facilities, consisting of more than 200 schools, over 30 medical centers and a number of religious facilities. On top of that, Rp 66.9 billion in damage was caused to other facilities. (and)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jakarta carves out walkways, bike lanes

Agnes Winarti, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Jakarta will soon see trial integrated pedestrian and bicycle lanes in the city, one of the city's planned efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Landscape architect Nirwono Joga said Monday the lanes would be delineated along the green belts beside riverbanks and rail lines and under overpasses.

"Creating bikeways and pedestrian lanes is actually much easier than constructing lanes for buses because we only need to mark lanes with signs indicating they are for bikes and pedestrians," he said during a media gathering held Monday by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

"All we still need is the administration's political will, which currently is lacking," he said.

Dedicated green lanes will afford more safety and comfort to those who choose walking and bicycling in the city, Joga said.

As a consultant to the city parks agency, Joga is currently working on a pilot project for creating an urban park network, in which green corridors will connect one city park to another.

Jakarta boasts a total of 800 city parks.

"The connecting green lanes will serve as both pedestrian and cycler lanes in the city," Joga said, citing the 3-kilometer lane connecting Suropati Park on Jl. Diponegoro, and National Monument (Monas) Park on Jl. Medan Merdeka, both in Central Jakarta.

He mentioned various pedestrian lanes suited for upgrade to bikeways within the planned park network: the Menteng area, which connects Suropati, Situ Lembang and Menteng parks; the Blok M-Kota corridor; and Kebayoran Baru's set of integrated parks and activity hubs like Blok M, Pasar Mayestik, Pasar Santa, Taman Ayodya, Taman Barito and Taman Puring.

"This pilot project will be launched in November. We are currently in the process of painting the signs to designate the bike and pedestrian routes."

Joga said no master plan had yet been created for non-motorized transportation, namely bicycles, despite the existence of a 1992 law on thoroughfares.

Meanwhile, the ITDP and the Bike to Work organization together consider a better appreciation of bicycles as a means of transportation an urgent need; cyclists do have equal rights vis-*-vis motorized vehicles.

"It's high time the busway system integrates with the non-motorized transportation modes, including walking and cycling," ITDP deputy country director Restiti Sekartini said.

"This integration will help the public shift from using private vehicles to using the busway," she said, adding the non-profit organization was putting together a pedestrian map detailing routes along and around busway corridors.

Toto Soegito from Bike to Work said, "the bicycle is still perceived as a second-class mode of transportation." The group currently has some 5,000 members in the capital, and 5,000 more who have recently joined in cities besides Jakarta.

Jakarta governor Fauzi Bowo has said he would provide public infrastructure for bicycles only once 1,000,000 bikers were recorded in the city.

Kereta Api starts construction of Kota-Tanjung Priok railway

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta 

State railway company PT Kereta Api started rehabilitation today of the nine-kilometer rail line from Kota to Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta. 

"Construction began today at Kampung Bandan station," said Akmad Sujadi, Kereta Api's Jakarta spokesperson, as quoted by 

The Kota-Tanjung Priok railbed and track were built long ago, but have fallen into disrepair because of lack of use. Illegal houses have also sprouted up along the railroad. 

Akhmad Sujadi said Kereta Api had given an ultimatum to the remaining squatters along the railway to remove their houses by Friday when Kereta Api would remove any remaining dwellings by force. 

"So far people have voluntarily removed about 70 percent of the buildings," he said, adding the rail line from Kota to Ancol was relatively free off squatters. The challenging stretch would be from Ancol to Tanjung Priok where many squatters have refused to leave. 

Akhmad said Kereta Api plans to regreen the area with 3,000 plantings after squatters have been cleared off. (rid)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Diamonds worth Rp 2 b seized at airport

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang 

Customs and excise officers foiled a smuggling attempt of thousands of diamonds worth more than Rp 2 billion (US$202,000) at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Wednesday. 

"The smuggler, an Indian national identified as SH, 45, used a new method by swallowing the jewelry to avoid paying import tax," Eko Darmanto, chief of intelligence said at the customs and excise office. 

However, Eko refused to explain what new modus the smuggler had used on the grounds that it could be imitated by drug smugglers. 

He said the smuggler flew from Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia and arrived at the airport at around 8 a.m.. Officers became suspicious on seeing the passenger who appeared nervous while going through the check point. 

"We examined the man's bags but found nothing. We finally decided to examine him with an X-ray at Usada Insabi Hospital and the results showed strange objects in his stomach. At first, we thought it was drugs," he said.

 He said the Indian man was only a courier and that officers were still looking for the receiver. (and)

Dirgantara Indonesia strikes Eurocopter deal worth $42m

The Jakarta PostTue, 10/21/2008 11:25 AM 

State aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI) has signed a US$42 million contract to assemble components of Super Puma MKII helicopters for Eurocopter Indonesia, the local unit of helicopter maker Eurocopter Group. 

"The deal verifies the ability of DI as a competent partner in the aerospace business for the manufacturing of aircraft parts and components in Asia," said DI president director Budi Santoso after the contract signing Monday. 

The contract was signed by Budi and Henri Stell, president director of Eurocopter Indonesia, at the office of the state minister for state enterprises. 

"DI keeps expanding its market in the aerospace business. The deal confirms global demand as the Super Puma brand is among the most sold brands in the international market," said Budiman Saleh, DI aerostructure director. 

Under the deal, a series of training programs will take place between the two parties in the first three years, including a permanent posting of a Eurocopter team in Bandung, West Java. The Bandung posting, also the location of DI headquarters, will allow for technical assistance and the exchange of ideas and technology. 

The actual production process will start in 2011. 

Eurocopter is the world's number one helicopter manufacturer. Eurocopter's products account for 30 percent of the fleets across the globe. 

Dirgantara was founded in 1976 and provides aircraft design, development and assembly for commercial and military planes and spare parts. 

Among its partners, in addition to the Indonesian Air Force, are the U.S. Coast Guard and the governments of Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. -- JP/Olivia Dameria

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bali airport asked to give contributions to public

Ni Komang Erviani, Contributor The Jakarta Post, Nusa Dua, Bali 

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika urges Ngurah Rai International Airport officials to directly contribute to the welfare of the Balinese people, citing the immense profits the airport operator has received from the public. 

In a meeting with airport operator PT Angkasa Pura at the governor's office in Denpasar on Thursday, Pastika requested that the airport shared some of its profit with locals. 

"This aspiration surfaces because the public realizes how much money Angkasa Pura is making from operating Ngurah Rai Airport,"Pastika said. 

Ngurah Rai International Airport is the only commercial airport in Bali. Lt. Col. Wisnu airport, a military owned air base in Singaraja, is the only other airport available. 

If the airport cannot directly contribute, then it should at least share its profits by holding corporate social responsibility events to upgrade and maintain its surrounding natural environment. 

"My dream is to make the natural environment around Ngurah Rai Airport in the same class as the natural environment around Changi Airport in Singapore,"Pastika said. 

"The green trees in and around Changi Airport are so neatly set up that everyone goes in and out of the airport feeling comfortable,"he said. 

Pastika said he hoped Angkasa Pura was not in the business just to gain profits and that it, as the largest airport operator in the country, would continue to pay attention to the environment, which would increase the number of tourists visiting Bali. 

He further requested that, in respect to security issues, the domestic departure terminal at Ngurah Rai be free from trading activities, massage services and the like. 

"All international airports in the world have declared their departure terminals, be they domestic or international, as sterile areas,"he said. 

"The existence of traders, masseurs and other businesses is not appropriate because they pose a very high risk in terms of security,"he said. 

He told the operators to optimize the Airport Security Committee's services in keeping the airport safe. 

"This is important to continue Ngurah Rai Airport's prestige as a safe airport and maintain that reputation,"he said. 

In response, Angkasa Pura I General Manager of Ngurah Rai Airport, Heru Legowo, said the company had completed several activities that had contributed to the public's welfare. 

"For example, we have used the company's money to fund training for small and medium-sized businesses and have continued to distribute loans," he said. 

The airport plans to upgrade the airport's service by expanding the domestic departure terminal to 70,000 square meters, from its current size of 14,800 square meters. 

Heru said. He said the tender for the project would start by the end of this year, while the building process would begin by early next year. 

Heru said the airport had continued to use the Airport Security Committee's services, saying the committee managed to cover 41 weaknesses in the airport's security system that the International Flight Safety Committee had identified. 

He said the feat was what allowed the United States to lift its travel warning to U.S. citizens from traveling to Indonesia, specifically Bali. 

"This is thanks to our police forces and our military forces, especially the Air Force," Heru said.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tangerang regency set to tax airline passengers

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post

The Tangerang regental legislative council is drafting a bylaw that will pave way for the regency to collect retribution from passengers at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

The retribution is expected to be collected from passengers at terminal II, which is located in the regency jurisdiction.

"We will soon approve the bylaw on transportation because it will function as legal umbrella for the administration to collect donation from passenger retribution," the council speaker Endang Sudjana said on Saturday.

He said the retribution would be collected from passengers along with airport tax. It means that when passengers pay the airport tax, they will also pay the retribution to the regency in the form of donation. However, the council has yet to decide how much each passenger would be charged.

"The retribution can be as much as 10 percent from airport tax's domestic and international flights. If domestic flight tax is Rp 25,000, each passenger will donate Rp 2,500 and Rp 5,000 for passengers of international flights," he said.

The administration had long prepared plans to collect retribution from air passengers at the airport. Decision to create the bylaw became stronger after a council conducted a comparative study in several other regions across the country.

"We found that most of other regional administrations dig revenue potentials from air transportation activities and we have yet to do so.”

”The airport has operated for so long and we collected nothing but land and building taxes (PBB) so far," he said.

According to the council speaker, under the Regional Autonomy Law, the regency should also obtain revenue from several other sources of levies at the airport such as advertising and parking taxes.

"At least, we first initiate the revenue potentials from passenger donation and then we will talk about other things under the regency's authority and we are sure that airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II will listen to our wishes," he added referring to a state firm that manages the Soekarno Hatta airport.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mandala Airlines expects to fly 9 mln passengers in 2009

Pontianak, W Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Domestic airline company, Mandala Airlines, has set itself a target to fly eight to nine million passengers in 2009, or an increase of 80 percent if compared with its target in 2008, a Mandala Airlines executive said. 

"The increase in the target is in line with the company`s plan to increase the number of its airplanes," Mandala Airlines chief executive officer Warwick Brady said here on Sunday. 

He said that Mandala now had 16 airplanes and in 2009 the company had panned to increase it to 20. 

Mandal`s fleet at present consisted of five Airbus A320s, four Airbus A319s and the remaining ones were Boeing aircraft. 

The airlines has ordered 30 Airbuses to reinforce its fleet and flight services in Indonesia. It was worth US$1.8 bilion. Later this month, or early in November, one Boeing A320 is expected to arrive to strengthen its fleet. 

Warwick said that the new airliners would be used to serve new flight routes. "I cannot disclose the new routes yet which would be served by Mandala," he added. 

He said that Mandala gave a priority to A320 planes because they had bigger transportation capacity than A319s. It carried up to 180 passengers while A319s could only fly 144 passengers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

81 killed in West Java traffic accidents in past week

Bandung (ANTARA News) - Eighty-one people have died in traffic accidents in the past week of the Idul Fitri holiday season in West Java province, the West Java police spokesman Senior Commissioner Dade Achmad said here on Friday. 

He said the police until now had recorded a total of 85 traffic accidents in the region. 

"Besides leaving 81 people dead, the accidents also caused serious injuries to many people, and hundreds of million rupiahs worth of damages," he said. 

He said the number of the accidents was almost the same as in last year.