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August 5, 2020

Dividing CAA

Newspost

 
August 5, 2020

Following the dubious licence scandal, the government is seriously considering bifurcation of the Civil Aviation Authority into two separate entities – the Pakistan Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority and the Pakistan airports Authority – to look after the regulatory function and commercial function respectively. But this is a bad idea as it will not serve any purpose. The authority is already bifurcated functionally as different directorates and divisions under these look after the regulatory side and commercial side separately under one DG. In case of formal bifurcation under independent organisations, there would be two DGs which would result in a top-heavy management structure. How this will resolve the dubious licence scandal or mitigate corruption and nepotism or enhance the safety oversight function is not clear.

It appears that vested interests have floated the idea as a stepping stone to outsource lucrative commercial activities later on and create another cartel. All over the world, mergers and consolidation of businesses are taking place to take advantage of the economies of scale. Pakistan has a restricted and limited aviation sector that has further shrunk after being devastated by the global pandemic. The Civil Aviation Authority is suffering huge losses owing to reduced revenues from the steep drop in air traffic. This is the time to contain costs by having a lean organization rather than over populating it.

Arif Majeed

Karachi