TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Aviation expert Alvin Lie on Wednesday argues that there was no urgency in the government’s latest spending on a newly repainted Indonesian presidential aircraft, especially considering that the aircraft has only just entered its seventh year into service and is seldomly used.
He deems the maintenance and visual appearance of the ‘Indonesia One’ still suffices in today’s needs. “This is not related to safety and airworthiness. Just pure aesthetics,” said Lie to Tempo on August 4.
Factoring in the aircraft’s flight length operations with 4,000-6,000 hours of airtime, he believes repainting the whole fuselage was not an urgent concern as in average. Lie said an airplane would need a repaint as it enters its D-Check phase along with a total overhaul that comes as a plane has been operated for 24,000-40,000 airtime hours.
“I am certainly sure that the presidential aircraft has not reached D-Check which would cost millions of dollars. Maybe just the C-Check,” Alvin Lie added.
He urged the Presidential Palace to be open with the public in terms of the spending on the aircraft as it is part of budgeting transparency and accountability. Especially considering the current pandemic situation that should have postponed government spendings on non-essential aspects.
The Presidential aircraft ‘Indonesia One’ had changed from a light-blue and white color combination to a red and white combination, which the Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Heru Budi Hartono, said was all done domestically and coincided with the plane’s routine maintenance interval.
“The BB-J2 repaint plan has been prepared since 2019 to commemorate the 75th independence day commemoration for 2020,” Hartono told journalists stationed at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, August 3.
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CAESAR AKBAR | DEWI NURITA