CAA’s clarification


Now when most of the aviation administrations around the world have downgraded Pakistan’s air safety rating after the aviation minister said on the floor of the house that probe into fake or dubious licenses of pilots was on, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has woken up to clear the air that all commercial/airline and transport pilots’ certifications (CPL/ATPL), issued by it, are genuine. It seems in the coming days, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar and the probe committee members who prepared the report of the PIA flight crash would have to face criminal charges for inflicting damage to the national airlines and Pakistani pilots’ credibility all over the world. The probe report was prepared in isolation, if the statement of the CAA director general, Hassan Nasir Jamy, stands correct that there is no truth in the aviation minister’s allegation that almost 40 per cent of Pakistani pilots held fake certifications. The CAA head recently wrote to a high-ranking aviation official of Oman a few days ago that “it is important to clarify that all CPL/ATPL pilot licences issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority are genuine and validly issued. None of the pilot licences are fake, rather the matter has been misconstrued and incorrectly highlighted in the media/social media”. The letter adds that the 96 Pakistani pilots, of 104, working with foreign airlines such as UAE/GACA, Vietnam Airlines, Bahrain Air, Civil Aviation Malaysia, Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and Turkish Airlines are clean.
Since the revelation of the minister before the National Assembly on May 22 that 40 percent of the PIA pilots hold fake corticated, the PIA and local aviation have been in a state of crisis. Later, he swelled the list, saying 262 pilots altogether from airlines such as the PIA, Air Blue and Serene Air and from flying clubs and chartered plane services or foreign airlines, had dubious credentials. The CAA needs to come up with a quick damage control mechanism. The letter written to the Oman authorities should have an audience with other countries besides completing the scrutiny of the pilots, if any ongoing. Initially, the CAA had marked the licences of 34 pilots of the PIA as fake and suspended them. The lost credibility can be gained if the CAA explains to the world about its strong certification process. Side by side, the national airlines should improve its performance taking a leaf from its past glory. Hopefully, Pakistani pilots and PIA will regain the lost space. *