RAWALPINDI: The Senate Standing Committee on Aviation was informed on Thursday that PIA flights on international routes saw a 60 per cent delay over the previous two months.

Along with other topics, the meeting covered the cost-cutting decision to close the PIA booking office in Hyderabad and the establishment of a smart office to better serve the residents of the city and its surroundings.

The closure of PIA booking office in Hyderabad as a cost cutting move and establishing a smart office came under discussion in addition to other issues in the meeting.

The committee meeting held at the Parliament Lodges was briefed on various issues that are currently being faced by the aviation sector in Pakistan.

The meeting was presided over by Senator Hidayatullah and attended by Senators Syed Mohammad Sabir Shah, Aon Abbas, Afnan Ullah Khan, Keshoo Bai, Bahramand Khan Tangi and Naseebullah Bazai.

A press release issued by Senate Secretariat said matters taken up by the committee pertained to posting of incumbent of director general (DG) Civil Aviation Authority during the last 15 years, details of emoluments of personal staff, bird collision during takeoff and landing and reasons for delayed international PIA flights.

Regarding posting of the incumbent of DG during the last 15 years, the committee was informed that the posting was in line with the rules and regulations.The committee raised questions regarding other options and the reasons for these not being exhausted.

The committee was of the view that the process of advertisement for appointment of the DG should be adopted instead of getting it approved from the cabinet.

Regarding closure of PIA booking office in Hyderabad, the committee was informed that it was shut down as a result of a cost cutting move.The PIA management is working towards establishing a smart office in Hyderabad in order to facilitate the people of the city and surrounding areas. This office should be operational within a month, they said.

Reviewing the issue of bird collision during takeoff and landing, the committee said international best practices must be adopted in this regard. A forum to deal with the issue has been formulated that has on board base commanders from all over the country.

Follow-ups on measures taken are carried out regularly and section 144 haD been imposed in coordination with THE local administration to ban dumping, pigeon homing and use of laser beams in areas around airports.

Discussing the procurement of services for the development of indigenous in-flight entertainment (IFE) solutions, the meeting was informed that in view of certain discrepancies with respect to technical soundness of the lowest bidder - M/S Avionic Solution -, the whole tendering process had been rolled back.

Reviewing the reasons for delayed international PIA flights, the committee was informed that in the past two months 60pc delay in international flights had been observed.

In addition to this, there have been issues related to immigration during which passengers were offloaded from flights.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been taken on board in this regard and they have agreed to come up with a policy to mitigate the issues at the earliest. The committee summoned the FIA in the next meeting to discuss details.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...