Indonesia, US strengthen cooperation on unmanned aircraft system

Indonesia, US strengthen cooperation on unmanned aircraft system

Illust. The US Air Force's RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft exhibited in the Singapore Air Show 2019 in Changi, Singapore. (Doc. ANTARA PHOTO/Wahyu Putro A)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and the United States continue working together in the transfer of knowledge and technology related to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The cooperation is part of the US-Indonesia Aviation Working Group, called "Strengthening Aviation by Incorporating Innovative Technology in Indonesia".

"I express my gratitude to the US government for their cooperation with the Indonesian government through the Aviation Working Group, which has been carried out since 2016. We really appreciate the close cooperation that was built between the two countries," the Transportation Ministry's director general of air transportation, Polana B Pramesti, said in a statement here on Wednesday.

According to Pramesti, the use of drones or unmanned aircraft has been developing quickly, as they offer a variety of capabilities and sophistication, and the industry has promising economic potential.

"This is a challenge for regulators and requires special time to regulate air traffic management," Pramesti said.

"The general challenge lies in integrating manned and unmanned aircraft safely and efficiently, especially when they use the same airspace," she added.

With the Aviation Working Group, she expects this activity to provide a number of solutions to challenges, such as flight regulations related to the two countries, UAS technology updates and sharing related to the US Government in handling UAS operations, as well as discussions regarding Indonesia's infrastructure in facing developments of UAS, along with risks and supervision.

"As we know, the operation of the UAS has provided a number of benefits in various sectors, therefore the Directorate General of Air Transportation needs to support the operation of UAS, as long as it complies with the rules without overriding safety and security," Pramesti said.

US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan said the working group aimed at strengthening aviation cooperation between the US and Indonesia.

"The aviation industry has an important role in Indonesia's development. Given Indonesia's geography, which has thousands of islands, the airline industry is quite reliable. Just like other economic sectors, the aviation industry must continue to develop, in line with technology. One of these sectors is the New Aviation System, the Unmanned Aircraft System. We, the US, see that UAS technology will have a significant impact on the aviation sector," he pointed out.

Donovan added, this was inseparable from the ability and advantages of UAS, which can send aid in a short time, be used to assist the development of the digital economy and e-commerce, as well as increase the reliability of economic development and infrastructure.

UAS is undeniable, very efficient and effective in reaching remote areas---in accordance with Indonesia's geographical conditions.

"We see that UAS technology can develop and have the potential to drive the aviation industry in Indonesia. However, the development of this industry is inseparable from the regulations and strategies implemented by stakeholders who support the development of this technology," Donovan said.

In this case, he continued, America is currently interested and committed to driving the aviation industry in Indonesia, a cooperation which is also supported by private companies and related stakeholders, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as the US Industry and Trade Ministry.