Our belief system commences with our faith that no one knows aviation better than the air arm officer or the civilian CEOs or DGs either PhDs, CAs, business tycoons or civil servants. That is where we start to go down spiralling when we do not consider outside expertise.
A military aviator comes with his own creed. They too feel that their knowledge of the system is nearly impeccable. However, one can understand that a military aviator will have lived his entire experience with resource provided to him to win wars, not to turn his asset into economic activity exactly.
On the other hand, you have the civilian counterpart as mentioned. They are a different breed who are not remotely connected to the air beyond that airline ticket and perks, and when the end result is the same, it doesn’t matter who you might have.
The National Aviation Policy 2015, a bandied about instrument, said to have been prepared at the Embry Riddler Aeronautical University, US, I am sure well intentioned, to look after the sector, fritters into being totally regulatory in nature.
It falls short on the science of distance dynamics and opportunity environment and you can give it that since it was authored by ‘experts’ who had no clue as to the ground reality of Pakistan, and there are quite many of those realities begging to be considered. And this policy was civilian mindset by the way.
Resultantly, a major airline crash happened, fake degrees were used, a functioning airline was senselessly shut down, PIA continued to go bland, worst practices were followed, multiple careers were destroyed, people were rendered jobless, aviation as a whole persisted down path, drunk pilots were found onboard and whistleblowers were punished.
If the NAP had been slightly meaningful it would have prevented the collapse of Shaheen Air much before their bills swelled to beyond their ability to pay up, PIA would have been a solid organisation and airport cities would have been our economy. There would been a world of Pakistani airlines flying our airways.
This is when we have some really competent minds at the Civil Aviation Authority and elsewhere in Pakistan. There is something we are not doing right; or what we are doing is not right.
Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2019