Pakistan govt cancels licenses of 50 pilots

Islamabad: Pakistan government has cancelled the licenses of 50 commercial pilots following an inquiry in the malpractice during examination process for licenses of pilots.

The federal government has informed the Islamabad High Court that to meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the authorities have reviewed licenses of all 860 commercial pilots and, after thorough scrutiny, cancelled 50 of them, Dawn reported.

According to a report filed by Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar, the pilots were working for the national flag carrier as well as other Pakistani private and foreign airlines.

According to the report, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had been given the task to proceed against the pilots who managed to get licenses through unfair means.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on January 25 last year requested the aviation secretary for the constitution of a board of inquiry to investigate the malpractice, omission/commission observed during the process/conduct of examination for licenses of pilots.

Subsequently, a board of inquiry was constituted and its report concluded that as per the computer data forensic evidence, licenses of 262 pilots were based on “fake” examinations.

On June 26, 2020, the CAA grounded the 262 pilots and suspended their licenses for verification. The names of 262 pilots were made public to avoid any negative impression about other pilots, including those working outside Pakistan.

However, after verification, 172 licenses were cleared and 50, including the petitioner’s license, failed verification and were cancelled with the approval of the cabinet.

On June 30, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency suspended PIA flights to and over Europe for six months. Such suspensions are lifted only after a satisfactory on-site or remote audit.

Image courtesy of (credit: Wikimedia)

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