RAWALPINDI: Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Sunday said a team of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will start audit on Monday (today).

The team is expected to stay in the country till Dec 10.

An ICAO team has arrived in Pakistan for a safety audit of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority which will start on Monday, sources said.

The team comprises nine members out of whom eight arrived in Karachi on Saturday while one will join them next week, the sources said.

Mr Khan said the ICAO team would conduct audits of different areas, including security, pilot licensing, training, and wherever it had expressed concerns previously.

“The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has addressed all of the ICAO’s concerns, including improvement of issuance of pilot licences and security,” the minister told Dawn.

He expressed the hope that the PCAA would get a positive response and flights to European countries would resume, adding the aviation authority had also improved the pilot licensing procedure and addressed other concerns of the ICAO.

The minister said the federal cabinet had previously approved collaboration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority to improve and strengthen pilot licences.

Earlier, the ICAO had planned the universal safety oversight audit programme (USOAP) and the continuous monitoring approach (CMA) in Pakistan from July 5 to 15, 2021, which had been accepted by Pakistan.

Later, the ICAO decided to postpone the audit based on the fact that the Covid-19 situation did not improve as initially expected.

The PCAA had offered to the ICAO that it would share with it the concerned data online to avoid postponement of their visit in July.

The ICAO had been requested not to postpone the visit of its team. The team, which comprised citizens of different nationalities, had been assured that all the PCAA officials coordinating with them during their visit would be vaccinated against Covid-19.

During their current visit, the ICAO team members will also visit Islamabad and Lahore and will hold talks with senior officials of the Aviation Division. The team will also audit airworthiness of aircraft, aerodromes and ground aids, the aviation aircraft accident investigation board and the engineering department.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2021

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