PESHAWAR, Jan 18: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in a letter, has conveyed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti that flight operations from Chitral could be suspended if construction of residence by Chitral deputy commissioner Rehmatullah Wazir near the airport’s runway is not stopped.
An official of the provincial government told Dawn that that the letter was sent by CAA director general Air Marshal (retired) Khalid Chaudhry with the subject “Violation of NACP (National Airfield Clearance Policy) at Chitral Airport by Mr Rehmatullah Wazir, DCO (now deputy commissioner) Chitral”.
He said that the letter was sent on Jan 9 and now Mr Hoti had sought details of the matter from the provincial chief secretary.
“It will not be out of place to mention that should the violation of NACP continues, the CAA would be within its right to stop air operations from Chitral to ensure the safety of precious lives,” the letter states.
The controversy emerged in June last year when Mr Wazir started construction of his house near the runway, which the CAA claimed was in the danger zone and against the policy.
Presently, the Chitral district and sessions judge has issued an interim order in favour of the DC restraining the CAA from taking any action against him.
The DC claimed that he was owner of the land and did not require any no objection certificate from the CAA. He has pointed out in his suit that several buildings had already been constructed in the same area and the CAA had either issued them NOC or it remained silent. He added that the attitude of CAA was discriminatory towards the plaintiff.
“Your kind attention is invited to a very sensitive issue, wherein DCO Chitral has started construction of his house on the edge of runway of the Chitral Airport in June 2012 in complete violation of NAF Policy thereby endangering safety of flight operations at Chitral,” the letter states.
The DG claimed that several meetings were held with Mr Wazir by the officers of CAA, but in vain and consequently, a notice was issued to him. He added that the officer threatened the respective airport manager on phone and instead of stopping the construction filed a suit before the senior civil judge.
He stated that interim injunction granted in favour of Mr Wazir was vacated by the court in Dec last and he was asked to seek NOC from the CAA. Instead, he added, the officer got another order in his favour by getting the said order suspended through the district and sessions judge.
The letter states that the CAA is defending its position through competent lawyers, but it would be in the fitness of things to request that the said officer be asked and influenced to abide by the prevailing law and stop the said construction forthwith. He (Mr Wazir) needs to apply for NOC from the CAA in the light of the NAF Policy.
The DG had also referred to the judgment of Peshawar High Court in Marvi Memon case wherein the court had taken serious note of flight safety matters.