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Monday July 15, 2024

Senate body takes notice of passengers’ harassment at airports

By Asim Yasin
June 06, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Aviation raised concerns about the harassment faced by passengers at airports by Customs, ASF (Airport Security Force), and ANF (Anti-Narcotics Force). Discussing the survival of PIA in the Aviation Industry, the Senate committee on Aviation stressed the need to revamp the business on the Air India Model. The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation was held on Monday at Parliament House with Chair of its Chairman Senator Hidayatullah in which members were briefed on various issues that currently being faced by the Aviation Sector in Pakistan.

Members of the Committee who attended were Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Umar Farooq, Senator Faisal Saleem Rahman and senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation.Matters taken up by the Committee included bidding process of the Allama Iqbal International Airport, Remittances due to ticket sales not being allowed to remit foreign exchange, action against those appointed in PIA on fake degrees, setting up security agencies counters in one place at different airports and distance of the Islamabad Airport building from the parking lot.

It was highlighted the lack of coordination among these agencies, stating that they do not sit together or have joint search counters at airports. Reviewing the matter of setting up security agencies counters in one place at different airports the Committee was informed that the direction has been followed to the dot.

Members asserted that maximum measure must be taken to facilitate passengers at all airports. The Committee, while deliberating details of bidding process of the Allama Iqbal International Airport, was informed that the lowest bidder M/s Sinohydro was selected after an intensive bidding process on the basis of lowest Readout Bidder, however, the bidder now has been trying to move out of the contract.The Committee was informed that the initial requirements have also not been fulfilled that entails 10 percent Performance Security. The Committee recommended that the contractor be summoned in the next meeting so that matter could be reviewed in detail.

Discussing the issue of remittances due to ticket sales not being allowed to remit foreign exchange the Committee was informed that foreign airlines were under no obligation to share their financial statements with Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) including outstanding remittances.

The Committee directed PCAA to provide any details regarding payments/remittances available with it to the Committee. It also recommended that representatives of airlines be invited in the next meeting for clarity on the subject. Reviewing the matter related to action against those appointed in PIA on fake degrees, the Committee was informed that as per the recommendation of the Ministry of Law and Justice the issue has been forwarded to the Ministry of Interior. Regarding distance of the Islamabad Airport building from the parking lot the Committee was informed that the passengers could take the drop lane facility for convenience.