PIA decides to suspend 150 pilots over suspicious licenses

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

25th Jun, 2020. 06:33 pm
PIA's important decision regarding domestic flights

The management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to ground 150 of its pilots.

According to the details, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed in the National Assembly on Wednesday that a large number of commercial pilots had obtained “suspicious licenses”.

“About 150 pilots are being grounded,” PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said.

He said that the administration has demanded the immediate release of the list of other suspicious licenses from the Civil Aviation Authority and after grounding them, an inquiry will be held against them.

“Those found guilty will be fired after due process,” he said.

The spokesman acknowledged the findings of a preliminary investigation report presented to parliament by the aviation minister on the May 22 plane crash that killed 97 people and used the report’s findings as guidelines. PIA’s commitment to further improving safety standards in the company has been reaffirmed.

He said that the investigation into the suspicious licenses issued by the aviation regulator after the incident in Panjgur in November 2018 was taken up by the PIA itself.

In the incident, an ATR slipped off the runway using a hot and high approach and also had some basic level errors.

The incident prompted calls for verification of the pilot’s credentials, which turned out to be suspicious.

Also read: PIA Crash: Report presented in NA; holds pilot prime responsible

The regulator was also informed and the PIA requested the government to conduct a high-level inquiry into the matter, which was immediately ordered by the aviation minister.

A complete forensic audit of the licenses of all pilots obtained in the country.

The PIA administration followed suit to expedite the inquiry and the country’s highest executive office intervened.

Meanwhile, PIA traced 15 more such pilots and all of them were grounded till clearance from the inquiry board.

The salaries of such pilots cost PIA between Rs 17.5 million and Rs 20 million, excluding additional facilities and benefits.

The spokesman said that based on an internal review of the situation as a result of this tragic incident, the PIA would make additional recommendations to the regulatory authority for further improvement, stating that the regulator would need to be strengthened and A policy of zero tolerance for corruption in the grant and inspection of licenses must be adopted.

Abdullah Hafeez said that as a result, some flights may be cancelled but safety is paramount over commercial interests and only credible pilots who have obtained the original certificate will fly the flight.

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