INDONESIAN transport officials announced harsh measures today against everyone who allowed crashed AirAsia Flight 8501 to take off without the proper permits.
The airport’s operator and control tower officials have been suspended and the routing permits of all airlines flying over the country will be examined to see if they are violating the rules, said air transport acting director general Djoko Murjatmodjo.
“Who knows if other airlines are also doing the same thing?” he said.
Searchers continued to fight bad weather today as they combed the Java Sea for bodies and the wreckage of the Airbus A320 that crashed on December 28, killing all 162 passengers and crew on board.
The plane was travelling between Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, and Singapore on a Sunday.
Officials have since revealed that the airline’s permit for the popular route was only for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday but AirAsia quietly switched three of those days.
Officials in Singapore maintain, however, that the plane was authorised to fly on Sundays from its end.
Applications for specific routes take into account issues such as air traffic rights and airport take-off and landing slots.
While the airline is being investigated, Indonesia has banned all AirAsia flights between Surabaya and Singapore.
AirAsia Indonesia president Sunu Widyatmoko said that the airline would co-operate with the government during the evaluation and would not comment on the permit allegations until the process was complete.
Violation of the regulations could boost legal arguments for passengers’ family members seeking compensation, but that could affect the Indonesian government as well as AirAsia.