RAWALPINDI: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has decided to hire the services of a private company to fill the manpower gap and step up the task of better cleaning and disinfecting at Islamabad International Airport (IIA).
According to sources, the airport has been facing a manpower deficit of 100 personnel for the past two years after which the authorities concerned were approached to resolve the manpower shortage due to which cleanliness issues were emerging.
They said since the new airport was inaugurated, there were 320 sanitation staffers, but after some time 100 of them left the job and since then no new induction had been made.
The sources said it had been decided that services of a private company would be hired to fill the manpower gap and maintain proper cleanliness at the airport.
Earlier, the entry of visitors/greeters had been restricted at the airport due to which cleaning the premises was not so difficult with limited manpower, but since three visitors with one passenger were allowed, the airport authorities have been facing problems in maintaining cleanliness.
“Majority of visitors ignore using dustbins and remain seated in the concourse hall for a long time which makes it difficult for the cleaning staff to do their job properly,” said an airport official.
On the other hand, the CAA director general had constituted a three-member committee to probe into the deplorable and poor cleanliness conditions at the IIA built at a cost of over Rs105 billion in 2018.
The inquiry was ordered by the aviation minister Khawaja Saad Rafique after his recent visit to the airport.
The committee, comprising Air Vice Marshal Mohammad Jamal Arshad, additional director general CAA, Air Cdre Shahid Qadir, director security, and Naveed Ahmad Khan, additional director operations, has completed its report and submitted it to the CAA Director General Khaqan Murtaza.
The committee had been directed to highlight poor cleanliness at the airport and submit a report within three days.
The inquiry team had also been directed to identify loopholes in monitoring and supervisory mechanism and lapses in system at IIA leading to such poor conditions at the airport.
More importantly, the inquiry team was to affix responsibility besides suggesting measures to avoid such a situation in future.
The country’s first green-field airport was inaugurated by the then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in May 2018.
The airport has been designed to cater to millions of passengers from all over the world.
A green-field construction project is one that is not constrained by existing infrastructure. The analogy refers to using unused land for building a new project from scratch.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2022