ALMOST every airport in Pakistan is deemed unsafe because kites and crows pose a threat to commercial aviation flights. These birds normally nest in trees in the vicinity of large residential complexes. Even today construction continues in Lahore close to its airport. This poses a hazard.
One would have hoped that the new Islamabad airport built about 30 miles from the capital’s outskirts would be free of this menace. It is unfortunate that this is not the case. New housing societies in the vicinity of the new airport are being advertised for sale almost daily. It seems the commercial interests of real estate developers matter more than the lives of airline passengers. Why are the Civil Aviation Authority and local administration silent?
The government should know that it is taxes and fees from airline passengers and the aviation companies which fund the Civil Aviation Authority operations and pay for their salary and perks. The CAA is supposed to ensure that International Civil Aviation Organisation safety rules are enforced in Pakistan.
One ICAO ruling stipulates a mandatory sterile zone around the periphery of active runways. This law is mandatory for airports that wish to cater to international air traffic. One hopes the country’s larger interests are kept supreme and not the vested interests of a petty few wanting to become King Midas.
M. T. Ali
Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2019