Indonesia’s Vast Air Space, Expect Independent Management from the Government

National Airspace Management Seminar | photo: PSIK FH UB

In order to enrich insight into the importance of the concept of sovereignty in air space and its implications for security policies and aviation regulations, the Faculty of Law, Brawijaya University (FH UB) held a national seminar on National Air Space Management.

The seminar, which was held on Wednesday, November 29 2023 in the Auditorium on the 6th floor of A Building, Faculty of Law, UB, presented various speakers, namely, Prof. Atip Latipulhayat, S.H., LL.M., Ph.D., lecturer from UNPAD, Prof.Dr. Ida Bagus Rahmadi Supancana S.H., M.H., lecturer from Unika Atma Jaya Jakarta, Dr. Adi Kusumaningrum S.H., M.H., lecturer from Brawijaya University, and Adhy Riadhy Arafah, S.H., LL.M., lecturer from Airlangga University.

In his presentation, Prof. Atip Latipulhayat, S.H., LL.M., Ph.D., explained that air space, as the area that includes the sky above a country, is an integral part of a country’s sovereignty. This concept has become a widely recognized principle of international law, giving countries full control over the air space above their territory.

This is supported by the explanation from Prof.Dr. Ida Bagus Rahmadi Supancana S.H., M.H., that air space is the sovereign territory of a country (apart from land and sea areas). Therefore, the state has full control over the air space above its territory. This has been regulated in international law to be precise in the 1944 Chicago Convention.

Dr. Adi Kusumaningrum S.H., M.H. in the National Air Space Management seminar | photo: PSIK FH UB

Dr. Adi Kusumaningrum S.H., M.H., added about the differences between air and sea space. “Air space is different from sea area. Maritime areas have been regulated regarding the division of zones in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. So there are sea areas where a country has full sovereignty, and there are areas where a country has sovereign rights. “In terms of air space, it is only divided into national and international air space,” said Adi Kusumaningrum.

Indonesia has quite extensive air space, so its management area is also large. However, it should be noted that the extent of Indonesia’s air space still borders the air space of neighboring countries. One of the things that is widely discussed regarding the management of Indonesian air space is its relationship to the Flight Information Region (FIR).

Adhy Riadhy Arafah, S.H., LL.M., Maningrum S.H., M.H. in the National Air Space Management seminar | photo: PSIK FH UB

Adhy Riadhy Arafah, S.H., LL.M., said that FIR relates to a country’s authority to regulate traffic in certain air spaces. In this case, flight traffic that is actually in Indonesian airspace, specifically in the Riau and Natuna Islands, is under Singapore’s authority.

“Delegation of authority over FIRs is possible and has occurred in several countries. “However, what needs to be paid attention to is, if an accident occurs in the airspace of a country whose FIR is managed by another country, who should be responsible?” said Adhy Riadhy Arafah.

Management of Indonesian airspace is currently still a hot topic of discussion. Indonesia is expected to be able to regulate its entire air space independently without having to delegate its authority to other countries. (rma/FH PR/UB PR/ Trans. Iir)