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‘New order for aviation causes uncertainty’

Updated July 14, 2013

THIS is apropos of the news item, ‘New order for aviation causes uncertainty’ (July 7). These uncertainties are actually ground realities.

To bring changes in the basic structure of any organisation, proper homework is required and that has been overlooked. Hence confusion galore.

Creation of the aviation division should have been done in 1995 as recommended by M/s Arthur D. Little and NatWest markets when it conducted a study on PIA.

Nawaz Sharif, as former prime minister, revived it in March 1999 and it was abolished by Gen ( r ) Musharraf after his takeover.

The new order was the need of the hour as the ministry of defence was the major obstacle in running the affairs of PIA, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Airport Security Force (ASF).

It is incorrect to suggest that it will suffer coordination. In fact, in the absence of the ministry of defence the coordination shall be much better. The air space is manned by air traffic controllers drawn from PAF and CAA: they work in close coordination due to common airports and will continue performing their functions under new arrangements.

The recent air violation by Indian Air Force or any future violations have to be spotted by air traffic controllers and there are strict standard operating procedures to be followed; it makes no difference whether it is an intrusion or some secret mission.

There is no provision for the PAF officer as the number two, in fact even the director-general of the CAA, has to be from the regular cadre of the CAA.

The organisation is surrounded by uncertainties not because it is being placed under the aviation division but due to mismanagement, nepotism and sidelining senior officers.

The prime minister should review his decision of appointing number one and two to head the CAA according to rules.

The ASF will continue operating as before according to rules. It makes no difference if the reporting channel is changed. At present army officers are seconded to the ASF. So what if police officers are also seconded as they have a similar kind of training.

To remove uncertainties, preference has to be given to regular officers instead of bringing outsiders as it only breeds frustration amongst the permanent cadre of CAA officers. The indigenous officers of the CAA are the custodians of the customs and traditions of this institution. They are a true reflection of organisational development and attitude. If it is going worse, then logic can be found in the ill treatment being meted out to these officers.