Missing AirAsia flight QZ8501: Indonesia resumes search

Two members of the Indonesian Navy's Tactical Commanding Operator (TACCO) help with the search for AirAsia flight QZ 8501 on board a CN235 aircraft over Karimun Java, in the Java Sea December 28, 2014 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.

JAKARTA - Indonesia resumed at dawn Monday the search for an Indonesia AirAsia plane that went missing in the Java Sea with 162 people on board, a search and rescue official said.

"We have resumed the search for the missing AirAsia plane at 6am.

"We are heading to east Belitung island," deputy operations chief of the national search and rescue agency Tatang Zainuddin added.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with Flight QZ8501 around an hour after it left Juanda international airport at Surabaya in east Java at 5.35am local time Sunday.

The Airbus A320-200 disappeared en route to Singapore after the crew requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather.

"We are sending out four aircraft today to help locate the AirAsia plane. We hope we can find it soon. There will also be help from various search and rescue offices in the cities around the area," Zainuddin said. 

"We are expecting vessels and planes from Malaysia and Singapore. We are processing the papers and hopefully they can join us in an hour at the earliest. We hope we can find the plane as soon as possible."

There were 155 passengers and a crew of seven on board Flight QZ8501.