RAWALPINDI: The audit team of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) arrived in Islamabad on Tuesday morning and inspected operations of different departments at the airport.

The team is in Pakistan to conduct a safety audit of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

According to sources, the team observed the process of departure of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) domestic flight PK-300 and inspected the cargo terminal of the airport. The team members departed for Karachi at 7pm.

The ICAO team, which consists of nine members from various countries, arrived in Karachi on Nov 20 and will stay till Dec 10. The experts will complete their audit on Dec 9 and depart the following day; they have been conducting audits of different departments including security, pilot licencing, training and so on.

Audit airworthiness of an aircraft, aerodromes and ground aids, Aviation Aircraft Accident Investigation Board and the engineering department have also been observed by the team. One of the team members was in Islamabad since the last one week while three other members arrived on Tuesday.

“The Civil Aviation Authority has addressed all of the ICAO’s concerns, including improvement of issuance of pilot licences, security and other issues”, an aviation official told Dawn.

He expressed the hope that the CAA will get a positive response and flights to European countries will resume soon after the audit is completed. He further revealed that the CAA has improved the pilot licencing procedure.

Earlier, the ICAO had planned to conduct a Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) continuous monitoring approach (CMA) in Pakistan from July 5 to 15, 2021 which was accepted by Pakistan. However, this audit was postponed, based on the fact that the Covid-19 situation had not improved as initially expected.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021

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