Indonesia can become an aircraft maintenance center: minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia had the potential to become an aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) center owing to the rapidly growing aviation industry in the country, stated Transportation Minister E.E. Mangindaan.

"This condition (aviation growth) is a potential market for the development of MROs," the minister noted in a written statement made available to Antara here on Thursday.

The minister claimed that the national aviation industrial growth was marked by an increase in aircraft passengers by about 15 to 20 percent per annum and an increase in the demand for aircraft spare parts.

Indonesia should therefore guarantee high-quality services and its human resources must be highly competent, the minister pointed out.

In the relatively short period, Indonesia can serve as an important regional MRO center in the Asia-Pacific region.

He added that the national MRO can presently handle only some 30 percent of the domestic aircraft maintenance, while the overseas MROs handle the remaining 70 percent.

"This indicates that in the field of aircraft maintenance, we are yet to become a master in our own country," the minister asserted.

According to the Indonesian Aircraft Maintenance Shop Association (IAMSA), the number of Indonesias aircraft maintenance technicians was still small, though they had the potential to develop.

"Technicians and maintenance service experts are still rare professions in Indonesia," IAMSA President Richard Budihadianto remarked during an Aviation MRO Indonesia 2014 Conference and Exhibition in Jakarta on Tuesday (April 29).

He pointed out that a shortage of technicians and maintenance experts was the key problem faced by the countrys aircraft maintenance service sector.

Richard added that currently, the number of technicians and aircraft maintenance experts in Indonesia was estimated at only three thousand.

The need for such human resources in the maintenance sector in the coming five years is estimated to reach six thousand with a capacity increase per annum of about 50 to 60 percent.

In order to handle this increasing demand, the IAMSA is of the viewpoint that the government and the MRO businesses need to make a breakthrough to meet the required number of technicians and maintenance experts.

"Existing institutions in the country are only able to produce 600 technicians at the most," Richard noted.