Indonesia Suspends Aviation Officials, Requires New Briefings after AirAsia Crash

Pilots have disputed that the new regulations are necessary, however.

Indonesian transport authorities took action Jan. 5 in the wake of the AirAsia crash, suspending aviation officials and saying airlines will be forced to comply with more stringent pre-departure regulations and require their pilots to undergo direct weather briefings, according to multiple media reports But some pilots argued new briefings are not needed because they already obtain weather data before their flights.

Djoko Murjatmodjo, the Transportation Ministry's acting director-general of civil aviation, said the ministry has issued a circular requiring airlines to directly brief their pilots on weather before departure, and that an official rule will follow. He said the ministry has ordered agencies at the Surabaya airport to suspend officials from air traffic control, the airport operator, and the airport aviation office who were on duty at the time of Flight QZ8501's crash.

The flight originated in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city. The aviation directorate general at the international airport there was found to have used incorrect information in making its decision to allow AirAsia a takeoff slot for the flight, Murjatmodjo said.

Senior pilot Sardjono Jhony Tjitrokusumo argued that the pilots are not necessarily at fault, saying undergoing briefings is not part of the required procedures before takeoff.

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