Director-General of Civil Aviation Novie Riyanto has asked all Indonesian and international airlines to complete data reporting of arriving international passengers and make suitable arrangements for arrivals at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.
The arrangement is effective from 30th September 2021 as part of an effort to prevent the entry of the new COVID-19 virus variant to Indonesia via air transportation.
“This is also intended so that there will be no queues for PCR test checks and ensure the quality of inspection results and the implementation of quarantine procedures runs optimally, so that absolutely every passenger who comes meet the applicable provisions,” said Novie in his statement on Friday 1st October.
Regulatory policies with restrictions on passenger arrivals like this have been carried out in several other countries. Places such as Australia, the Philippines, and Japan already have similar requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Novie also asked for understanding from all airlines and for them to arrange incoming passengers and report data on international flights at Soekarno-Hatta Airport. Planes will only be able to bring in 90 passengers per international flight.
“This needs to be done so that we can carry out stricter supervision to prevent the entry of new COVID-19 variants into Indonesia,” he said.
The temporary restriction on the number of passengers is based on historical data on the average number of international passenger arrivals at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport between August and September 2021. The data shows a range of 1,500 people per day and the trend shows a long-term increase.
Currently, regulators and airport operators are preparing additional capacity for PCR swab tests using the TCM and NAT methods, with results obtained in a maximum of one hour. This facility will increase capacity from 200 to 1,000 tests per hour and be in line with the requirements of the Bio Security Lab Level II (BSL2).
“It is hoped that this facility will be completed in the next few weeks so that restrictions on the number of passengers per flight will continue to be evaluated in line with the readiness of facilities and infrastructure at Soekarno-Hatta Airport,” concluded Novie.