The Jakarta Post, Surabaya,Thursday January 08 2015
Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Yuddy Chrisnandi has recommended the dismissal of officials involved in the issuance of an illegal flight permit for the Surabaya-Singapore route flown by AirAsia flight QZ8501.
“Today, I have received a lot of complaints from the families of AirAsia flight QZ8501 victims. They urged the government to take tough measures against all airlines and officials committing violations,” Yuddy told journalists on Thursday after visiting the family members of AirAsia victims at the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) post at the East Java Police headquarters in Surabaya.
“Permitting an airline to carry out an illegal flight, which can endanger its passengers’ lives, is an unforgiveable deed. If proven guilty, the officials involved should be immediately dismissed,” he added.
The minister further said if all officials upheld rules and regulations, the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501, which killed all 162 passengers and crew members aboard, might never have happened.
“I have also asked the police to investigate the case because such an illegal flight can be investigated for its criminal aspect. All parties, starting from the airline to officials, both at airport operator Angkasa Pura and the Transportation Ministry, have been remiss in their duty, which led to the loss of people’s lives,” he said.
Yuddy further explained that the ministry had reviewed the dismissal process. A number of officials known to have issued the illegal flight permit were civil servants working under the Transportation Ministry and Angkasa Pura.
“Who are those officials? You’d better ask the transportation minister [Ignasius Jonan]. This dismissal could hopefully become the starting point to carry out transportation reform, especially on permit issuance without following proper procedures. This [AirAsia flight permit case] must be brought to justice,” said Yuddy.
The Transportation Ministry suspended AirAsia’s Surabaya-Singapore route a few days after flight QZ8501 crashed into the Karimata Strait on Dec. 28.
The suspension came on allegations that the airline violated operational procedures by flying on a Sunday, when its license only allowed it to fly on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
In October, the airline revised the route schedule to fly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, without the required permission of the ministry.