RAWALPINDI: The aviation authorities probing allegations of suspicious licences of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots and involvement of some officials of the Civil Aviation Authority in the scandal have sacked three CAA officials, while the fourth one obtained a stay order from a court.
A senior official told Dawn that initially five officials of the aviation and licensing branch had been suspended and show-cause notices issued to them for their alleged involvement in the scandal, and later three of them had been removed after the completion of the process.
Of the three, two senior officials were dismissed by the CAA director general, while the third one, a junior officer, was removed by an additional director. Of the five suspended officials, two were senior joint directors (licensing), an HR senior superintendent and two assistants.
The Aviation Division had sent the cases of the five CAA officials to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for criminal inquiry against them. However, the FIA had yet to complete the inquiry against them, sources said.
The authorities, meanwhile, have completed the verification of licences of 262 pilots from their personal manual data and will present a report in a cabinet meeting. These pilots have been categorised by the aviation authorities as some of them may face cancellation of their flying licences and some may be cleared. They also included those who had committed ‘rest times’ violations.
In June this year, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had disclosed in parliament that out of 850 pilots, 262 were holding ‘suspicious’ licences. The minister’s statement had caused panic in aviation circles, leading to grounding of 262 pilots.
A five-member committee had been constituted by the Aviation Division to investigate the cases of pilots’ licences and provided fresh lists of pilots of the PIA, SereneAir and Airblue after making some corrections in their names and reference numbers.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2020