RSAF will send 2 C-130 aircraft when search for missing QZ8501 resumes

SINGAPORE - Mindef said in a statement on Sunday (Dec 28) that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed assets to assist in the search and locate (SAL) operation for the missing Singapore-bound AirAsia flight QZ8501.

The SAF is working closely with the Indonesian authorities to search for the missing aircraft, the defence ministry said. 

The Singapore Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), managed by the Civil Aviation Authority Singapore (CAAS) and supported by various agencies, including the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), had offered assistance to BASARNAS, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency, at 9.30am (local time) today.

After receiving confirmation from the Indonesia authorities at 2.30pm this afternoon accepting Singapore's offer, one C-130 aircraft took off at around 5pm to assist in the SAL coordinated among the SAF, Singapore Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

It reached the search area at around 630pm and carried out the SAL operation for two hours.

Following the Indonesian authorities calling off the search for the day, the aircraft has since departed the area of operations.

The RSAF will send two C-130 aircraft to continue the SAL operation tomorrow.

CAAS also said in a statement that will be sending an officer to the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency in Jakarta to assist in the coordination with the Indonesian authorities on the search operations.

The Singapore Ministry of Transport's Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has also offered the Indonesian authorities two teams of specialists and two sets of underwater locator beacon detectors to assist with the search.

The SAF will commit more assists to the search operation if needed, said Mindef.