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Indonesia submits bid for seat in ICAO council
Four failed bids to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) council have not stopped Indonesia from giving another shot at gaining a voice and some influence on matters related to international aviation.
Indonesian news portal Detik.com reported on Friday that Indonesia has submitted its nomination to become an ICAO council member.
A delegation led by the former maritime coordinating minister Indroyono Soesilo met representatives of 30 ICAO member countries in Washington to drum up support to win a seat in the council.
"Previously, we had submitted our nomination to join the council four times but they weren't successful. Hopefully, this time we will succeed," said Mr Soesilo, according to the portal.
Singapore and Malaysia are the only South-east Asian nations that have a seat in the 36-member council. The council members are elected every three years with the next election for the 2016-2019 period coming up in September at the organisation's headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
Mr Soesilo told the news portal that the delegation met representatives of ICAO member states from Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean Rim Association countries.
Indonesia has failed to be elected on four previous occasions - 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2013 - and needs to secure votes from at least 125 countries to gain a council seat. In the last election in 2013, the country only managed to garner 97 votes.
Mr Soesilo said he was more optimistic about Indonesia's chances of making it to the council this time as the country's aviation management has improved, although it still needs to meet various standards set by ICAO.
"We have two challenges. First, to comply with ICAO's standards. Second, to gather support for our nomination," he said, adding that if Indonesia were to win a council seat, it would benefit the country as it would then have a say in ICAO's policies on international aviation.
"I totally understand why Indonesia is doing this," said Con Korfiatis, Heidrick & Struggles' Asia-Pacific lead partner for aviation, transportation and logistics.
Mr Korfiatis pointed out that as the fourth most populous nation in the world, Indonesia has thousands of islands with a population that's spread broadly across the archipelago and it's the largest economy in Asean: "That makes it a significant global market in terms of aviation volumes," he said. "Indonesia needs to be there (ICAO council) at some point, and will be there. It's just a matter of timing."
And of course, meeting ICAO's standards.