The Indonesian government is imposing stricter safeguards on electronic devices in airplane cabins. The move is designed to enhance national defense against terrorism. According to Bisnis News, the new regulation issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation says that any kind of electronic device brought inside the airplane will first be thoroughly examined. Electronics inspections will be held in the airport before passengers are allowed to board their flights.
“Flight security is an inseparable part of flight safety. Thus, the examination of goods that have potential to harm flight safety need to be strengthened. This includes electronics which are brought inside the cabin,” said General Director of Civil Aviation Agus Santoso, as quoted by Berita Satu.
He added that the new security mechanism is in accordance with the aviation law (number 1 of 2009). Tighter cabin security is meant to prevent terrorism acts which may utilize electronic devices.
Santoso took the US, Canada and UK’s tight security against flights coming from Middle Eastern countries and Turkey as examples. Those countries’ safeguards includes prohibiting laptops and other electronic devices which are larger than a cellphone in the cabin. Passengers instead would need to check things like laptops and tablets in their luggage.
For now, Indonesia still has no such ban. Those kinds of electronics are still allowed to be brought inside the cabin after passing through an X-ray machine outside the passenger’s bag beforehand. This rule is in accordance with the decree of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation no. SKEP/2765/XII/2010.
According to a Circular Letter (number 6 of 2016), if the X-ray operator, by any chance, still has doubts regarding the examination results, manual examination must be conducted. This can include asking the owner to activate and operate the device in question while security personnel observes.
As quoted by Koran Sindo, Benny Butarbutar, a representative of Indonesia’s top airline Garuda Indonesia, also testified that the airline is supporting the regulation. Garuda claims to value safety and security of its passengers above all else.
This regulation applies to every passenger boarding planes within Indonesia, which of course includes expats. While the new rule is believed to bring positive results for enhancing national defense against terrorism going forward, passengers will surely find the policy annoying.
Some expats may now feel less anxious with tighter security measures in place. On the other hand, it will be more time-consuming and may even cause more hassle than needed before boarding your weekly commuter flight home.