KARACHI: The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has once again published advertisements inviting tenders for awarding contract of the important departments of the new Islamabad Airport on Saturday, raising doubts over the sincerity of purpose.
Prior to this, advertisements were published twice but no satisfactory response was received from the prospective bidders. The tenders have been invited airport services including maintenance of allied infrastructure and international scale ground handling. The date for opening of the tender has been set as March 18. The Islambad airport has been completed at cost of Rs100 billion and its inauguration is likely to be held in March.
A high ranking official source, on the condition of anonymity, revealed that when the tender was first floated objections were raised on the proposals of the parties. At the second time, no party took interest in the bidding, he said. The source said it looks as if it has already been decided at the government level as to who would be given the contract for the airport services.
He said since the start, the administration was not interested to run the airport on its own. Best modern systems were procured for the airport but the staff is not trained to operate them. This is in contrast to the fact that the companies selling the equipment are bound under the Original Equipment Manufacturer agreement to train the staff with their own expenses, but nothing like that happened.
For the last one year, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has been giving combined advertisements for the privatisation of Karachi, Lahore and Islambad airports, but now, due to lack of finalisation of deals separate advertisements are being published to award the three airports on contract.
The PRO Civil Aviation Authority Pervez George confirmed giving advertisement time but failed to verify if the advertisement has been given before as well.