By Putu Deny Wijaya
Found To Operate 19 Troubled Aircraft, Citilink and GMF Aeroasia Receive Strict Warning
The Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation, sitting in the Ministry of Transportation, issued a warning to local-based carriers Citilink and GMF AeroAsia after the company continued to operate 19 aircraft that were experiencing technical issues with their braking systems. The warning was delivered in a letter dated Dec. 22 and signed by Director of Airworthiness and Aircraft Operations Dadun Kohar. The warning letter was addressed to the GMF AeroAsia accountability manager and Citilink’s vice president of engineering and maintenance.
According to the letter, based on the results of the corrective action discussion on the findings of the GMF AeroAsia audit on Dec. 17, the Ministry of Transportation found the Citilink Airbus A320 operated from Dec. 1-17 with a dummy brake assay still installed on the aircraft with tail number PK-GQJ.
“And in the last three months, there have been six brake occurrences [melting, jammed, rotor damage, over temperature].” Dadun wrote in this letter.
The Ministry of Transportation also sent a warning letter to GMF AeroAsia In this letter, the Ministry of Transportation asked GMF AeroAsia to immediately repair the brakes on the hold item list (HIL) — a list of work orders that were suspended because parts or equipment were not available or could not be used — on 19 Citilink A320 aircraft. The company is also asked to immediately review the HIL status from August to December 2021 to ensure that the HIL closing is truly appropriate.
GMF was also asked to immediately identify the serial number of the problematic components to be removed from the aircraft and stored in a quarantine area. The Ministry of Transportation also asked the company to ensure that the problem of unavailability of spare parts and supply chain management does not become a latent hazard that affects flight safety and compliance with applicable regulations and procedures, something the airline has vehemently denied is happening.
So far, the Ministry of Transportation has not made any statement regarding this matter. Citilink Corporate Secretary Diah Suryani stated the company continues to closely coordinate and entrust all aircraft maintenance to GMF as a provider of aircraft maintenance services. Thus, all Citilink aircraft under maintenance meet the established flight safety standards. Meanwhile, GMF Vice President Rian Fajar Isnaeni stated that his party had confirmed that all customer aircraft — in this case, Citilink — had been declared airworthy.
“GMF has met the requirements as stated in the operator’s minimum equipment list [MEL] document, namely Citilink, which has been issued by the aircraft manufacturer and approved by the local authorities,” Rian said in an official statement.
Isnaeni said that his airline had made several repair efforts and have always obeyed government regulations, in particular those with regard to the airworthiness of the aircraft.
“Amid a pandemic, GMF and Citilink always prioritize aviation safety and security, including complying with all regulations set by the regulator regarding the airworthiness criteria of aircraft when operating,” Isnaeni said in a statement received by local outlet Kompas.com. “GMF has met the requirements as stated in the operator’s minimum equipment list (MEL) document, namely Citilink, which has been issued by the aircraft manufacturer and approved by local authorities.”
Isnaeni said that GMF had taken several corrective steps, including reviewing, mapping, and identifying the HIL.
“However, it does not reduce the safety and airworthiness of the aircraft,” he said. “Not only that, but GMF also formed a special team for HIL completion in accordance to the regulation and standard set by the government.”