Highlighting the depth of Indonesia's air safety problems, the transportation ministry announced harsh measures Monday against everyone who allowed AirAsia Flight 8501 to take off without proper permits — including the suspension of the airport's operator and officials in the control tower.
The routing permits of all airlines flying in the country also will be examined to see if they are violating the rules, said Djoko Murjatmodjo, acting director general of air transportation.
"Who knows if other airlines are also doing the same thing," he said.
The crackdown comes as searchers continue to fight bad weather while combing the Java Sea for bodies and wreckageof the Airbus A320that crashed December 28, killing all 162 passengers and crew on board.
The plane was traveling between Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, and Singapore on a Sunday. Officials have since said its permit for the popular route was only for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and that AirAsia quietly switched three of those days. Officials in Singapore, however, have said the plane was authorized to fly on Sundays from its end.