Carl Bialik shakes his head at Indonesia:
A year ago, [it] rated above average. Then, last May, the ICAO audited the country. The results were abysmal. Indonesia rated below average in all eight categories, including legislation, operations and airworthiness. The organizational structure of its civil aviation rated well below average, scoring 18 percent compared to a global average of 65 percent.
He adds that “it’s too soon to link Indonesia’s poor audit scores with the [AirAsia] disaster that is presumed to have killed all 162 people on board”:
There are, nonetheless, already indications that lax oversight played a part in AirAsia flight QZ8501. The flight took off without the necessary clearances from regulators, the acting head of Indonesia’s transportation ministry said, according to the Associated Press.