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. …

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Air Asia Eyeing Halim Airport

"They want to manage an airport, and the name Halim is out"

Vivanews, Antique, Syahid Latif, 31 August  

VIVAnews - The Ministry of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) acknowledged that Malaysia-based airline Air Asia states its interest to patch up an airport in Indonesia. One of the targets is Halim Perdanakusumah Airport.

(AP Photo/Airbus/HO)
"They want to manage an airport, and the name Halim is out," said SOEs State Minister Mustafa Abubakar in Jakarta, August 31.

According to Mustafa, Air Asia was willing to oversee an airport in Indonesia but it could not yet reveal the prepared allocated investment.

In addition to Halim Perdanakusumah Airport, Air Asia also viewed that the Terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta Airport will need better management, for there is no balance between the domestic and international terminals.

In addition to Air Asia, Mustafa said that a number of airport administrators are eyeing several airports in the country, including one managing Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.

The minister said foreign investors are starting to put into consideration the development of various airports, especially Soekarno-Hatta, which is more visible and profitable.

Plan your trip

The Jakarta Post, Antara | Tue, 08/31/2010 2:10 PM

A Transportation Ministry official (left) distributes roadmaps to be used for the Idul Fitri homecoming trip, which will see millions leaving Jakarta for the holidays, to motorists passing on Jl. Jenderal Sudirman on Tuesday. The maps contain information on repair shops, health centers and police posts along the route. Antara/Ujang Zaelani

New Radar to Be Built at Soekarno-Hatta Airport

Jakarta Globe, Putri Prameshwari & Arientha Primanita | August 30, 2010

Related articles

A day after the air traffic control radar at Indonesia’s busiest airport crashed, the Ministry of Transportation on Monday announced that it would begin building a new system that would manage flight control for all of western Indonesia.

Herry Bhakti Singayuda, the ministry’s director general for civil aviation, said that new navigational equipment worth Rp 750 billion ($83.3 million) would replace the old radar that has failed twice since June 2009 at Jakarta’s airport.

“We will build a new system called the Jakarta Automated Air Traffic Services at Soekarno-Hatta Airport,” he said, adding that “one of the system’s components is a new air traffic control radar.”

On Sunday, the airport’s radar went down for 30 minutes starting at 9:02 a.m. The incident disrupted dozens of flights, forcing state airport operator Angkasa Pura II to temporarily switch the system to manual to minimize flight delays.

Hari Cahyono, Angkasa Pura II’s corporate secretary, said it was still investigating the cause of the failure, but acknowledged the company’s software or hardware might be faulty. The system had been in operation since 1996.

“We realize people are wondering why the old system has not been replaced,” Hari said. “It is not that simple.”

The Ministry of Transportation’s Herry said that once installed, the system would also be used by most other airports in western Indonesia.

“It’s not like we have been neglecting this problem ever since the radar had a similar defect in June 2009,” he said. “But improving an airport takes a long time.”

Govt to invite investors to manage Jakarta`s int`l airport

Antara News, Monday, August 30, 2010 23:06 WIB 

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is planning to invite a number of foreign investors to manage service facilities at Jakarta city`s Soekarno-Hatta airport, a minister said.

Soekarno-Hatta airport, Jakarta
"We will invite interested investors to serve as partners to manage the airport," State Enterprises Minister Mustafa Abubakar said here on Monday.

The plan to improve the management of the airport was related to the master strategy of state airport operator to improve airport services, he said.

Airports are one of the mirrors or shop windows of a country, he said.

The quality of Soekarno-Hatta airport`s services must be equal to that of other international airports such as Schiphol in The Netherlands, Narita in Japan and Changi in Singapore, he said.

"International airport operators including those of the United States have expressed interest to become investors," he said.

But he added that the government had yet to respond to the offer because it still had to improve the internal management of the state airport operator.

"It (the project) is open to any investor who is willing to, the more so if they have enough experience. We will select them when all the internal aspects have been completed," he said.

To realize the plan the government would first form a subsidiary which would cooperate with the investors, he said.

Related Article:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Minister`s plane hampered by Mt Sinabang`s volcanic ashes

Antara News, Sunday, August 29, 2010 20:47 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The airplane expected to fly Chief Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono could not make its flight due to thick volcanic ashes of Mount Sinabang which erupted in Tanah Karo district, North Sumatra, at 0.15 early on Sunday.

"I am still at Pinang Suri airport, South Tapanuli because my plane could not be flown due to thick volcanic ashes," the coordinating minister for people`s welfare said when contacted by ANTARA on the phone here on Sunday.

Agung explained he was in North Sumatra as part of his Ramadan Safari in his capacity as people`s welfare coordinating minister.

"I am here on a Ramadan safari in Sibolga, North Sumatra, and it happened by chance that Mt Sinabang erupted. Because I am still in North Sumatra, I decided to inspect the eruption location," he said.

He said that in order to inspect the eruption site in Tanah Karo, he should change his flight direction and fly from South Tapanuli to Medan.

"But the Susi Air which would fly me to Medan at 12.00 hours could not conduct a flight due to volcanic clouds of the eruption," he said.

As an alternative, he said, he should take another flight that would transit at Pinang Suri airport (South Tapanuli) on its flight from Nias to Medan.

"If it is impossible for us to use an airplane we will take a land transportation," he said.
Mount Sinabang in North Sumatra`s district of Tanah Karo erupted at 0.15 early on Sunday.

About 12 thousand local residents around the mount valleys have been evacuated to safer places. One resident was reported dead during the evacuation due to a breathing problem.

Japan's lone radar intelligence orbiter breaks down

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Of four intelligence-gathering satellites currently in orbit to observe North Korea, the lone radar orbiter impervious to darkness and cloudy weather has broken down, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center said it detected a glitch in the satellite's radar system Monday and began remote operations to restart the system. However, an official of the center said the outlook for recovery was "extremely grim."

The government plans to launch its next radar reconnaissance satellite in fiscal 2011. The failure of the orbiter is expected to badly affect intelligence-gathering activities for Japan at a time when North Korea has tested nuclear weapons and China has built up its military.

The satellite, radar satellite No. 2, was launched in February 2007. The center attributed the malfunction to battery trouble. The satellite was designed to function for five years and should have operated until 2012.

The government started the satellite intelligence-gathering program after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japanese territory in 1998. A set of four satellites--two radar orbiters and two optical orbiters--can gather imagery of any place in the world within any 24-hour period while in their polar orbit at an altitude of 400-600 kilometers.

This was what the government had in mind when it originally planned to launch four intelligence-gathering satellites in fiscal 2003. But two spy satellites were destroyed during a failed launch aboard an H-2A rocket in November 2003.

Currently, there are three optical intelligence-gathering satellites, one of which has already passed its life expectancy, and one radar craft in orbit.

Since the only radar craft has stopped functioning, the government must wait until after fiscal 2012 before a complete set of reconnaissance satellites--two optical and two radar--are in operation.

The radar satellite is more expensive and technologically sophisticated than the optical orbiters. The radar No. 1 satellite, which was launched in 2003, stopped operating in 2007 because of a battery problem, one year short of its life expectancy.

Intelligence gathering satellites are a precious source of information for Japan and "serve as a deterrent by monitoring any kind of activity" one high-ranking Defense Ministry official said.

The government uses imagery information from U.S. commercial satellites, but the United States limits sales of imagery data because of concerns about military security.

The malfunction of the lone radar spy satellite could cloud Japan's security as the relationship between Tokyo and Washington has become strained over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.

(Aug. 29, 2010)

Soekarno-Hatta airport radar troubled for 40 minutes

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 08/29/2010 3:55 PM

Radar system at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Banten, went into faulty for 40 minutes at around 9 a.m. on Sunday. The trouble caused a little disturbance to several flights on landing position, reported.

“We are still investigating the cause of error,” said airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II corporate secretary Hari Cahyono.

The operator managed to switch radar system into manual during the troublesome, resulting no delay so far, added Hari.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

EasyJet stops disabled woman from flying because her wheelchair is 'health and safety hazard' to ground staff

Daily Mail, By DAILYMAIL REPORTER, 25th August 2010

A disabled woman was stopped from boarding an easyJet flight because her wheelchair was deemed a 'health and safety hazard'.

Hannah-Lou Blackall, 24, who has muscular dystrophy and cannot walk more than just a few steps, was told her one-metre-long wheelchair was 'too heavy' for ground staffcrew to lift.

Instead the budget airline insisted Miss Blackall, who was due to fly from Gatwick airport to visit a friend in Poland, have the 140kg battery-operated wheelchairdismantled to meet its 60kg weight restrictions.

'Discrimination':Hannah-Lou Blackall, right, who has muscular dystrophy, was stopped fromboarding an easyJet flight because her wheelchair was 'too heavy'

Miss Blackall, from Norfolk, who works at Hull-based disability charity Danny's Dream, said she had travelled with other airlines without any problems.

She added: 'It's discrimination against people in wheelchairs. There are laws against this and it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

'Mos tpeople with muscular dystrophy need a larger and more powerful wheelchair.

'But easyJet said I can't take wheelchairs over 60kg. They told me there are health and safety reasons for me not being allowed to fly.

'It is really frustrating. You cannot just dismantle my wheelchair, its very complicated. If you do, you'll need an engineer to put it all back togethergain.

'We are calling for all airlines to change their policy and make it easier for disabled people to fly.'

Miss Blackall has needed a wheelchair since she was born with the genetic muscle-wasting disease which affects around 70,000 people in the UK.

Her £4,000 Groove wheelchair weighs 120kg or 140kg with battery while a standard metal wheelchair weighs under 60kg.

She hopes to travel to Krakow next month but easyJet is the only carrier which flies direct.

Apology:EasyJet said it regularly carries powered wheelchairs on board its flights,provided they can be collapsed into separate parts

The incident comes as a survey by muscular dystrophy charity Trailblazers revealed another three wheelchair users have been turned away by easyJet while trying to book a flight in the past year.

The no-frills airline has promised to apologise personally to Miss Blackall and any customer who have been refused flights.

A spokesman for easyJet said passengers with mobility problems must contact the operators two days before their flight.

He added: 'EasyJet welcomes more than a quarter of a million passengers with reduced mobility every year and we regularly carry powered wheelchairs, provided they can be collapsed into separate parts weighing less than 60kg each.

'This is a necessity to protect the health and safety of the baggage handlers who have to lift the wheelchair into the aircraft.'

The Trailblazers survey also revealed Ryanair and Bmi airlines charge people £100 aflight if they need to take oxygen on board.

It also found Ryanair, Bmi, British Airways and Virgin do not charge or place restrictions on wheelchair weight.

Spokesman Bobby Ancil said: 'It is totally unacceptable and discriminatory for leading airlines to impose rules making it impossible for disabled people to use their service.

'Powered wheelchairs are essential for many disabled people, not least many of the 70,000 people affected by muscle diseases.

'Suggesting that these people can travel without this vital equipment would be nonsense.'

China's 3D Fast Bus Expected to Operate in 2011, Web Editor: Zhao, 2010-08-25

4.4 to 4.5 meters high, the 3D fast bus will travel at an average speed of 60 to 80 kilometers an hour, faster than current buses, which could reduce traffic jams by 25 to 30 percent on main routes. [Photo: the Beijing Times]

A Chinese invention, the 3D fast bus, has recently passed its security evaluation and was sent to the manufacturing section on Tuesday. The bus is expected to beput into operation by the end of 2011, the Beijing Times reported.

The bus,with one story of passenger space above the ground, straddles the street and allows cars to drive under it. Powered by a combination of municipal electricity and solar power, the bus will travel at an average speed of 60 to80 kilometers an hour, faster than current buses, which could reduce traffic jams by 25 to 30 percent on main routes.

The passenger carts of the 3D fast bus, which can hold 1,200 passengers per vehicle, are flexible and can be added to create more passenger capacity during rush hour, or just leave one or two carts in operation during off-peak time.The departure intervals can also be adjusted, according to Song Youzhou, the designer of the bus.

The cost of constructing this bus system is 50 million Yuan (or 7.4 million U.S.dollars) per kilometers, which is roughly one-tenth the cost of building a subway of the same length.

The vehicles will be built by the China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation. The bus track in the Mentougou district of Beijing will startconstruction at the end of this year, according to the authority of science office, Mentougou district.

Vehicles on the road through the central business district in Beijing on August 4. Thousands of vehicles are bogged down in a more than 100-kilometre (62-mile) traffic jam lon the Beijing-Tibet expressway that has lasted nine days and highlights China's growing road congestion woes. (AFP/File/Liu Jin)

Related Article:

Jet misses runway, crashes in China; 48 rescued

Yahoo News, By Alexa Olesen, Associated Press

In this cell phone photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, rescuers work at the site of a reported plane crash at an airport in northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. According to Xinhua, the plane overshot the runway in Yichun city and burst into flames. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Guangfu)

BEIJING– A Chinese passenger jet overshot a runway in the country's northeast and burst into flames Tuesday, but state television said 49 of the 91 people onboard had been rescued. The fate of the remaining passengers was unclear.

The Henan Airlines plane crashed in Heilongjiang province's Yichun city, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Xinhua said more than 20 people had been hospitalized.

China Central Television quoted Sun Bangnan, deputy director of the Heilonjiang Public Security Department, as saying that 49 people had been rescued and that the fire had been put out.

Wang Xuemei, vice mayor of Yichun, told CCTV that three of the 49 hospitalized were in critical condition but gave no specifics.

The plane had taken off from Heilongjiang's capital of Harbin shortly before 9 p.m.(1300 GMT) and crashed during landing at the Lindu airport a little more than an hour later.

An official surnamed Qi at the Yichun No. 1 People's Hospital said 30 people had been brought there for treatment, with most suffering broken bones.

A man who would only give his surname, Wang, at the Yichun Rehabilitation Hospital,which has burn specialists on site, said 10 survivors were transferred therewith burn injuries.

Another eight survivors were at the Yichun Forestry Hospital, said a duty officer surnamed Zhou. He said he did not know the nature of their injuries.

Henan Airlines is based in the central Chinese province of the same name and flies smaller regional jets, mainly on routes in north and northeast China.Previously known as Kunpeng Airlines, the carrier was relaunched as Henan Airlines earlier this year.

Henan Airlines and many other regional Chinese airlines flying shorter routes have struggled in the past few years, losing passengers to high-speed railroad linesthat China has aggressively expanded.

An American company, Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group Inc., was an original investorin Henan's predecessor company, Kunpeng, but divested its stake last year. Mesa operates regional services in the U.S. for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines andother carriers and is undergoing bankruptcy reorganization.

Full-tilt expansion of Chinese air traffic in the 1990s led to a series of crashes that gave China the reputation of being unsafe. The poor record prompted the government to improve safety drastically, from airlines to new air traffic management systems at airports.

The last major passenger jet crash in China was in November 2004, when an China Eastern airplane plunged into a lake in northern China shortly, killing all 53 on board and two on the ground.

An MD-11 cargo plane operated by Zimbabwe-based Avient Aviation crashed during takeoff from Shanghai's main airport last November. Three American crew members died while four others on board were injured.

Associated Press researcher Yu Bing contributed to this story.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Country’s First Women-Only Train Cars Roll Out to Generally Positive Reception

Jakarta Globe, PutriPrameshwari & Ulma Haryanto | August 19, 2010

Womenand schoolgirls boarding the new women-only train car at its launch in Depok,West Java, on Thursday. State rail operator Kereta Api started the servicefollowing an uptick in sexual harassment cases. (AP Photo)

Jakarta.In a response to several sexual harassment cases on the capital’s TransJakartabus routes, state rail company Kereta Api launched the country’s firstwomen-only train car on Thursday.

Fittedout with pink seats, the train cars will initially be available for Depok-boundtrains in the Greater Jakarta area, an official from Kereta Api has said.

“Onefemale officer will guard each carriage. We want to protect women from becomingvictims of sexual harassment,” said Makmur Syaheran, corporate secretary forKereta Api Commuter Jabodetabek.

He addedthat the operator expected demand to be brisk for the segregated cars becausemore than half of all passengers on commuter trains serving Greater Jakartawere female.

“Fornow, it will only be available for passengers of executive class trains,”Makmur said, adding that women on economy class trains would have to make dowith compartments that housed hundreds of passengers crammed shoulder toshoulder.

Theoperator eventually hopes to have two women-only cars available for each train.

“We wantto prevent sexual harassment cases from happening on public transportation, ashas occurred on several occasions on the TransJakarta busway,” Makmur said.

But whenasked about possible punishments against male passengers who boarded the newwomen-only cars, Makmur said there were none.

“Theywill be embarrassed anyway, since there are clear signs stating that they arewomen-only cars,” he said.

In atleast three previous sexual harassment cases on the busway, the suspects hadalledgedly continued to grope the victims even after they had moved away orshowed clear signs of discomfort or distress.

NinikRahayu, deputy chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence Against Women,said she supported the initiative so long as the government also instituted along-term plan to combat sexual harassment.

“Even upuntil now, security and law enforcement cannot assure the safety of women inpublic spaces. Having a women-only carriage is just an initial step in protectingwomen from sexual harassment,” she said.

ButNinik also said there was a need for increased education and public awarenessabout the damage that sexual harassment could inflict on its victims.

“Becausewe can’t just segregate everything. So I see this as a short-term solution,”she said. “I hope that the government has a clear mandate on this matter.”

HuznaZahir, chairwoman of the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI),agreed with Ninik.

“This isa temporary solution given to women who really feel cornered and insecure. It’snot meant to discriminate against women,” she said.

Huznaalso called for more common sense in planning to minimize the risks that womenencountered on the country’s crumbling public transportation networks, “forinstance by increasing the number of cars.”

“But ifit is going to be applied at all, then the procedures, information andsanctions, should be clear to everybody,” she added.

GreaterJakarta commuter trains currently serve routes linking Jakarta with outlyingcities Serpong, Tangerang, Bogor, Depok and Bekasi. Major stations in the cityinclude Palmerah in West Jakarta; Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta; and Sudirmanand Manggarai in South Jakarta.

The150-kilometers of train line also includes a city loop that stops at stationsincluding Jatinegara in East Jakarta; Tanah Abang, Pasar Senen and KampungAmbon in Central Jakarta; and Sudirman and Manggarai in South Jakarta.

KCJ to receive 50 more used carriages from Japan

Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 08/19/2010 9:33 PM

PT Kereta Api Indonesia Commuter Jabodetabek (KCJ), a unit of state railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), will order 50 used carriages from Japan to increase the seating capacity of the company’s service in Jakarta.

KCJ president director Bambang Wibiyanto said the used carriages, worth Rp 1 billion each, would be delivered to Jakarta by year-end.

“We want to provide more a comfortable service for the commuters. By increasing the number of carriages, we can transport more people in Greater Jakarta,” he said after the launch of the 7000 series electric train in Jakarta on Thursday.

As the only company providing a mass transportation alternative in Greater Jakarta, KCJ plans to procure 118 used carriages from Japan this year. So far the company has received 60 of the carriages ordered.

Currently KJC and KAI operate 410 carriages, servicing 450,000 passengers daily. Bambang said the company needed at least 500 carriages to serve 550,000 passengers in Greater Jakarta every day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

‘Super-Extreme’ Weather Is the Worst on Record

Jakarta Globe, Nurfika Osman, August 19, 2010

Related articles

Jakarta. Indonesia has been experiencing its most extreme weather conditions in recorded history, meteorologists warned on Wednesday as torrential rains continued topound the capital.

Motorbikes splash through deep puddles of water
after heavy rains lashed the Semanggi area
of Jakarta on Wednesday. JG Photo/Safir Makki
All regions across the archipelago have been experiencing abnormal and often catastrophic weather, an official from the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said.

“We have reached a super-extreme level of weather this year, the first time in our history, and this is much worse than what we experienced back in 1998, when theLa Nina caused extreme weather in the country,” Edvin Aldrian warned.

Edvin, who leads the climate change and air quality division at the agency, told theJakarta Globe that a combination of a heating planet and the La Nina climate cycle were behind the unseasonable downpours.

“The combination of global warming and the La Nina phenomenon makes everything exceed normalcy,” he said, adding that global warming causes higher temperature in sea waters, and La Nina boosts humidity and the likeliness of rains.

Sea temperatures, Edvin said, were also at a level considered normal for Indonesia’s rainy season, not for the dry season. “It is about 28 to 29[degrees] Celsius now. Normally, for August it should have been around 24 to 26 degrees.”

Generally at this time of year, Indonesia is supposed to be in the midst of the dry season and entering the transition to wetter months.
“Inconditions like this, tornadoes are likely to occur,” Edvin warned.

“It canhappen in any region in the country, starting from the western part ofIndonesia to the east.”

He also said the extreme conditions were causing high waves, posing a threat to ships in Indonesian waters. “At the least, the waves will reach 3.5 meters and can reach up to more than five meters. And strong winds can make the waves even higher.

“The Southern part of Sumatra and Java are the most affected areas so far,” he said.“This condition is forecast to start to reach the eastern part of Indonesia within one to two weeks.”

Based on a BMKG forecast, the provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, West Java,West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, Maluku,

West Papua and Papua would see prolonged high rains, with more than 400 millimeters falling from now through October. More than 100 mm of rain is categorized ashigh intensity.

The rest of the country is expected to begin entering the rainy season again inNovember.

The extreme weather has already affected the country’s agricultural output, especially in Java where there are many farms, said Winny Dian Wibawa, theAgriculture Ministry’s director for horticulture.

“Crops like melon, mango and mushrooms are experiencing delayed harvests.

“It puts the farmers at a disadvantage as they now cannot produce many good quality crops,” he said, adding that the excess rains made fruit softer and less sweet.

Izzul Waro, an analyst from the Transportation Study Institute (Instran), told the Globe that the extreme weather would also cause headaches for commuters and truckers, especially in big cities like Jakarta.

“The conditions become worse because the drainage system in the city’s roads is bad. Puddles of water will occur with just a bit of rain,” he said, adding that traffic would only worsen during the extended rainy season.

The capital has seen heavy downpours in the past two days, causing deep inundations and burst river banks. On Tuesday, at least five neighborhoods in South Jakarta reported flooding.

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In the eye of the storm: The moment Mother Nature unleashes fury on Finland, injuring 40 people

Eye of the storm: This picture shows the moments before a powerful storm hit Helsinki

Airline experts to assess volcano risks in Iceland

Reuters, by Robert Evans, GENEVA | Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:19pm EDT

Ash plumes rise from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano May 13, 2010. (Credit:Reuters/Ingolfur Juliusson)

(Reuters)- Aviation and aerospace experts will gather in Iceland next month tocoordinate the global response to future volcanic eruptions, Icelandic officials said on Wednesday.

The conference follows an aviation crisis in April and May when Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted, spewing vast clouds of ash around Europe, grounding flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded, many for a week or more.

Experts from major governments, international organizations, aerospace companies and airlines will meet in the town of Keflavik from September 15-16.

"This should produce some clear indication of where the international community is heading to ensure the effects of a big eruption are minimized in the future," Henry Gaudry, president of the European Volcanological Society,told Reuters.

The closure of most of Europe's airspace cost airlines more than $1.7 billion inlost revenue.

Specialists say even worse chaos could follow if a number of other currently dormant or mildly active volcanoes in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Far Eastern Russia were to erupt.

The conference organizers, Iceland's Keilir Aviation Academy, said the September meeting would try to determine who should do what in the case of a volcanic eruption to minimize harm to the aviation sector.

Airline and airport bodies complained bitterly about the European airspace closure, a move they said was hasty and could have been avoided.

Aviation specialists said the crisis was partly caused by lack of coordination among several authorities on how to respond to the Icelandic eruption.

Many experts, including Gaudry, said at the time that European authorities had little choice but to act as they did to avoid potential disasters from theclogging of aircraft engines by the fine-glass dust.

Eyjafjallajokullis now calm, although it will not be until September or October that it can be declared dormant again. Initial fears that its eruption would bring its much larger neighbor Katla to life were proven unfounded.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Indonesian Aviation Officials to Take Second Look at Pertamina Fuel Quality After Damning Report

Jakarta Globe, Cameron Bates | August 16, 2010

A CathayPacific aircraft sits on the north runway of Hong Kong's international airportafter making an emergency landing on April 13, 2010. Five people were injuredafter the Cathay Pacific flight from Surabaya, Indonesia made an emergencylanding due to an engine failure, the government said. AFP PHOTO / MIKE CLARKE

Jakarta. Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee says it will reopen aninvestigation after allegations that a near air disaster involving a CathayPacific Airbus flight from Surabaya to Hong Kong may have been caused bycontaminated fuel supplied in Indonesia.

Tatang Kurniadi, chairman of the committee, known as the NTSC and the KNKT, told theJakarta Globe, however, that the preliminary accident bulletin by the Hong KongCivil Aviation Department only “represented the Hong Kong side” of the story.

Tatang noted that there had been no Indonesian aircraft that had similar sufferedproblems to those alleged in the Hong Kong report.

He said the results of its own investigation would determine whether or not itimplemented the findings contained in the initial accident report.

The report found that the Airbus A330 carrying 322 passengers and crew was forcedto make an emergency landing at Hong Kong in April due to contaminated fuelsupplied at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java.

One person was seriously injured during the landing, though a disaster was avoided.

The airline spokesman noted at the time that this was due to the professionalism ofthe pilots and cabin crew.

“The pilots and the 11 cabin crew all demonstrated professionalism of a highestorder in handling a most testing situation. It was due to their training,professionalism, their judgment, and ability to perform multi-tasks under ahighly intense situation that the injuries had been kept to a minimum.”

Juanda airport officials and state oil and gas company Pertamina, recently under fireamid allegations its government subsidized fuel for motor vehicles is belowaccepted standards, on Friday engaged in finger-pointing, with each sideclaiming they were not responsible.

The report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Globe, recommends that TheJuanda Surabaya Airport Development Taskforce “should, with suitably qualifiedpersonnel of aviation hydrant operation and re-commissioning experience,conduct an extensive review of the re-commissioning procedures of hydrantrefuel system in accordance with the best practise in aviation fuel industry.”

It says that the taskforce should ensure the re-commissioning procedures are completedbefore resuming hydrant refuelling operations at stands number one to 10.

A spokeswoman for Cathay Pacific said on Monday that the airline had suspended“fuel uplift from Surabaya” and had audited the fuel services available atJuanda.

“As aresult of the audit, our aircraft have been refuelled by alternative methods tothe one used on April 13, 2010.”