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July 8, 2020

Flying safe

Newspost

 
July 8, 2020

People pay to travel safely and it is the responsibility of the CAA, as regulator as well as the federal government to ensure that this is done. If it takes a few hundred or thousand individuals to be screened out of PIA and CAA, let that be. The welfare of a few retired officers from the paid civil or uniformed services or political cronies cannot take precedence over the lives of citizens. Pakistan's CAA has a dismal record with a series of accidents involving airlines under its jurisdiction, and no meaningful investigation conducted as per international industry practice.

The most recent crash involving PIA A320 occurred on May 22, 2020 which on initial approach executed a go-around after both engines touched the runway only to crash while making a second approach hardly kilometres from the airport. This A320 collided with multi-storied residential buildings. The ATC must have seen the A320 engines scratch the runway. Did the ATC follow the SOPs to meet any such emergency, and alerted rescue agencies? The question arises whether the CAA and PIA had ensured that safety was not compromised. Reports about irregularities in pilot recruitment date back to 1994 when an investigation headed by AVM Mushaf Ali Mir was ordered by the defence ministry. What action was taken for these gross criminal irregularities? If PIA Investment owned Hotel Roosevelt and Scribe are to be sold for salvaging the airline, it should be done transparently at an opportune time with no role for those who were responsible for this royal mess since 2000.

Choudhry Riaz

Edmonton

Canada