Govt issued wrong lists of ‘fake’ pilots: Abbasi

July 05, 2020

LAHORE: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday the incumbent government released a wrong list of 262 ‘fake’ pilots, bringing a bad name to the Civil Aviation...

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LAHORE: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday the incumbent government released a wrong list of 262 ‘fake’ pilots, bringing a bad name to the Civil Aviation Authority and creating problems for competent Pakistani pilots across the world. In a statement, Abbasi pointed out that out of 141 pilots, mentioned in the list, 26 didn't work for the PIA, two were martyred in the Havelian crash, six had already retired, data regarding 29 pilots was incorrect, 10 had challenged it in the court, the status of seven was completely unknown, while there were 18 who had not even got their licence at all. He said it was being suspected that the remaining 43 were on duty the same day they appeared for their exams. The former prime minister, who was also a pilot, said the CAA should issue a show-cause notice to these pilots and give them an opportunity to explain their position, which was their right. The rules dictate that action must be taken against those found guilty within 30 days. He demanded action against ‘fake’ pilots under the Civil Aviation Rules 1994, instead of paying only lip service on the issue.

Abbasi said the world was doubting authenticity and ability of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government levelled accusations even before investigating and acting. He warned that inaction, inability to reform and remediate could jeopardise country’s aviation industry.

Abbasi said a board of inquiry should be established to allow the accused a chance to explain their status and plead their case. The government reversed the entire process by first punishing the pilots by grounding them, issuing lists and then thought about investigating the matter.

He said he had been contacted by some 50 Pakistani pilots working for international airlines, who were competent, but were now fearing for their careers as the mishandling of the matter had tainted every Pakistani pilot indiscriminately.

Abbasi stressed that he firmly believed that all those found guilty of cheating and using unfair means to pass the test must be banished from the industry forever. He said that when a pilot was given an aircraft, he was entrusted with the lives of hundreds. He said the CAA had the authority to cancel licences of the guilty pilots, but no licence had been revoked thus far. Show-cause notices were issued to 28 pilots, many of whom moved the court.

The former PM said these licences had no direct connection with the air crash investigation as the investigations were a means to identify the causes of accidents to prevent future disasters.

The matter of pilot licensing purely relates to the CAA and because of the mishandling of the matter, the entire world was now doubting the capability of Pakistan's Civil Aviation. He demanded that the government must investigate the matter through due process and take strict action against those found at fault.



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