RAWALPINDI: The visiting International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) team has completed the safety audit of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and will release it final report in a few weeks.

According to sources, the ICAO team’s visit was comprehensive and tough this time, but apparently they didn’t observe anything critical. Their main focus was on pilot licensing, airworthiness and HR structure.

The ICAO audit team members also visited Islamabad International Airport where they observed the process of departure of Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) domestic flight PK-300, security, cargo terminal, safety investigation board and other areas.

The sources said the ICAO experts had been conducting the audit of security, pilot licensing, training and the areas where they had concerns previously. The team has also been conducting the audit of airworthiness of aircraft, aerodromes and ground aids, the aviation’s aircraft accident investigation board and the engineering department.

A spokesman for the PCAA said the ICAO experts had completed the USOAP (Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme) audit of the authority on Friday. The audit report was quite positive, with no substantial problems, as a result of unwavering efforts over a year, he claimed.

In the closing session, the ICAO audit team appreciated the progress made by the PCAA and commended the preparation and hard work prior to the audit, the spokesman said, adding that as per the ICAO procedures, a formal report would be issued in a few weeks and shared publicly.

Meanwhile, the PCAA and the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport (DfT) performed a comprehensive joint inspection of selected airports in Pakistan as part of the flight security preparations. This was part of an agreement between the two governments on direct flights from Pakistan by British airlines.

The DfT team had conducted a comprehensive audit of Lahore and Islamabad airports from November 22 to Dec­ember 2 this year, including flight security arrangements. The team observed different things and remarked 100 per cent compliance all together and outstanding efforts from the PIA security side at Islamabad and Lahore stations.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2021

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