By: Khurshid Ahmad
A PIA plane crashed in Karachi on May 22. We have lost 76 lives in PK-8303 crash. It emerged a debate of safety of PIA and ability of Civil Aviation Authority. The federal minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan claimed in his speech in National assembly that 262 out of 800 pilots have fake licenses. It further aggravated PIA plight on international level. As a result of that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended Pakistan International Airlines flights for six months.
On June 24, the minister speech worsened the situation as PIA already lost its safety certificate on March 2012. This certificate was issued by EASA and then suspended due to minor issues like tyre catching fire etc. Similarly, US department of Transportation revoked the special permission granted to PIA on previous Thursday. They have expressed concern over flight safety. Also other countries that include Malaysia and Vietnam have started investigations to know about the qualifications of Pakistani pilots.
In the letter sent to the PIA CEO from federal government, it is not mentioned that the pilots have fake license rather it is written that there should be a formal proceeding of pilots according to Civil Aviation Rules 1994.Thus it is deducted that the minister has no evidence that pilots have fake license. Would not it better to wait for the result that either licenses are fake or not before public it in such a way?
The country Civil Aviation industry wrecked by the federal government after thoughtless statement issued by Aviation minister about fake license on June 24. Its impact is that Pakistani pilots and engineers will not be hired by foreigner throughout the world. PIA suspension by different countries effected its economy. Also, if PIA is globally banned then it will take a long time to recover.
Now the way out from this plight is to interact with international aviation institutions in order to avoid strict actions. Also, stern actions should be taken against the fake pilots and those who blemish PIA. At last but not the least, Civil Aviation Authority institution should be overhauled instead of its breakup.
The writer is a student at Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad