Indonesia’s transportation ministry is investigating those who allowed AirAsia Flight 8501 to take off from Surabaya, Indonesia, without the proper permits on December 28, 2014. They have begun to suspend officials and air-traffic controllers who granted the AirAsia flight to take off. The ministry will also be checking licenses and schedules of all airlines that are flying in Indonesia to see if possibly they are violating rules and regulations.
The ministry set new regulations that went into effect on December 31 that made airlines brief their pilots on weather conditions in Indonesia before each takeoff. Even though the cause of the crash is still unknown, stormy weather over the Java Sea could have had an effect on the plane going down, killing all 162 passengers and crew on board.
The permit allowing AirAsia to fly from Surabaya to Singapore only allowed flights on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but the airline company switched those days without receiving new permits. Singapore, however, authorized AirAsia to fly into their country on Sundays. Indonesia has banned AirAsia from flying its route between Surabaya and Singapore until further notice.
There has been a large search effort in place to recover the bodies and plane. Since the crash, 48 bodies have been recovered. Sonar has picked up five large pieces of what is believed to be the plane on the ocean floor. Divers have tried to go down and check, but due to strong currents, they were unable to reach the site.
Gen. Moeldoko, Indonesia’s top military commander, has offered families the ability to visit the site of the crash. “I will facilitate the families of the victims who want to see the scene directly and how rescuers are battling high waves and bad weather to search for their loved ones and the plane,” he said when interviewed by Business Insider. “We’ll prepare two aircraft and a warship for them to go there and throw flowers.”
On January 13, the black box on board the plane was finally recovered from underneath one of the plane’s wings. The flight recorders will be flown to the capital of Indonesia to be analyzed according to Fox News.