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June 30, 2020

Fake and dubious licences of pilots: CAA, PIA credibility put in jeopardy, says Rabbani

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June 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Former Senate chairman Senator Mian Raza Rabbani Monday demanded that a judicial inquiry be conducted of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the manner in which the licences have been issued and if the system of examination has been changed if so for what purpose and to what effect.

“The credibility of the CAA and the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has taken a massive hit after the disclosure of the minister for Aviation about fake and dubious licences of pilots. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed serious concerns over the lapse in the licensing and safety oversight by the aviation regulator,” he said in a statement on Monday. Rabbani said in this case the aviation regulator is the CAA, which is being headed by a director general who is on deputation. “The only licence issuing authority for pilots is the CAA to the exclusion of all others,” he said.

Rabbani said the CAA conducts all the checks on pilots and the safety of the aircraft and certifies the same. He said that an impression is created by the government that the alleged fake and dubious licences are due to faulty/favoritism in the appointments of the pilots.

In actual fact in and around 2012, the CAA required pilots to give seven to eight written papers. Until then, he said their flying hours had counted as being of greater value and requirement was essentially a knowledge of English, matric certificate and flying hours. “This new methodology was created by the CAA to line the pocket of its employees,” he said.

Senator Rabbani said there should be a thorough inquiry of the working and functioning of the CAA. “It is strange that the PIA should ask for a list from the CAA of those pilots with fake or dubious licences. The reasonable assumption from this is that the CAA is already aware of such pilots and has maintained a criminal licence over the matter,” he said.

The former Senate chairman said the various discrepancies in the lists where pilots who have died in various air crashes, retired and or yet to give the exams find mentioned raise serious doubts as to the veracity of the list themselves.

He suggested that the Standing Committees on Aviation of both the houses should meet as a committee of the Parliament and look into the following amongst other matters. “The mode and method of recruitment in the higher echelon of the management of the PIA and where standards have been relaxed,” he said.

“The mode and manner in which the management functions, and if at all it is necessary to have employees brought on deputation who lack experience of commercial flying and management,” he demanded.