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Flight safety concerns CAA team to visit Chitral Airport

June 18, 2012

PESHAWAR, June 17: A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) team will visit Chitral to inspect an under-construction house that the local CAA staff has declared a ‘security hazard’ for being close to the runway of Chitral Airport.

The airport manager, CAA, on June 13, 2012 served a notice, under the Federal Government Lands and Buildings (Recovery of Possession Ordinance, 1965), on district coordination officer, Chitral, Rehmatullah Wazir with instructions not to construct the house near the runway, CAA spokesman Pervez George told Dawn.

“The action was necessitated after some pilots lodged complaints that they would not fly to Chitral if the construction of the structure was not put to a halt,” said the spokesman.

The CAA notice has declared the under-construction house a security hazard and a threat to the safety of passengers and aircraft.

The DCO has been informed that if the construction is not stopped the authority may take all legal action, including demolishing the structure and moving the court of law for further action.

However, the DCO Chitral, when contacted on phone, said that a civil court of Chitral had issued a stay order in his favour.

“I am constructing a single storey house (his personal property) on the left side of the runway without creating any safety hazard for the flight operations since the boundary wall of the house is only six feet high,” said Mr Wazir, adding “the under- construction house is situated next to another house.”

Mr George said that the federal government rules had not been followed that required to seek permission from the CAA prior to undertaking any construction near the airport/runway.

“We can’t compromise the flight safety,” he said.

Mr Wazir said that the house had nothing to do with the district government, therefore, the notice served by the CAA was not supposed to mention his official designation.

“I have already gone into litigation and would surely take up this matter with the court,” said the DCO, adding “the dispute is of the creation of local CAA staff and not based on complaints by any of the pilots of Pakistan International Airlines.”