ICAO to conduct safety audit of CAA in July

Published February 24, 2021
Sources said the team would arrive on July 5 and conduct the safety audit till 15th. — AFP/File
Sources said the team would arrive on July 5 and conduct the safety audit till 15th. — AFP/File

RAWALPINDI: A team of the International Civil Avia­tion Organisation (ICAO) will visit Pakistan to conduct its universal safety oversight audit of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in July.

Sources said the team would arrive on July 5 and conduct the safety audit till 15th.

The ICAO, a specialised agency of the United Nations that works to ensure safety in international air transport, evaluates the aviation regulator’s flight standards and other measures in addition to the safety audit.

The ICAO had conducted an USOAP CMA (Universal Safety Oversight Auditing Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach) off-site Mandatory Information Request (MIR) from September 13 to October 13 in 2020 and suggested Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to immediately revamp "pilot licensing system" before issuing new licences.

Several observations came from the ICAO at that time after the Pakistani authorities started probe into 262 pilots’ dubious licences and suspended five CAA officials after initial investigation and referred their cases to the Federal Investigation Agency for criminal probe.

Initially, the ICAO’s audit team had made 36 observations regarding safety and Pakistan’s aviation authorities cleared 26 out of them. Later the ICAO asked that the remaining 10 concerns be addressed which were technical in nature.

A senior official said the ICAO had asked about measures taken by the CAA to ensure fool-proof licensing system, questions put to the candidate in examination syllabus and how the question papers were prepared.

The Pakistani authorities have now revamped the licensing system and constituted a separate directorate to ensure transparency.

The official said the CAA had been asked to revamp the licensing system before starting issuing new licences, and sought details of measures taken to ensure transparency in the system.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2021

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