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KARACHI: Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has suspended the licenses of 34 pilots of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in suspected licenses case.

According to details, the PCAA has suspended the licenses of 34 PIA pilots in suspected licenses case and issued a list, which includes two pilot sisters Erum Masood and Maryam Masood, who went viral on social media when they made a history of flying B-777 aircraft at the same time in 2016. Sources said that all these 34 pilots were alleged of performing duty on same day when they appeared in the tests and added that out of total 34 pilots, 10 of them had no ATPL licenses. Moreover, PCAA has sent letter to the PIA in this regard.

PIA spokesman said that following the suspension of their licenses, these pilots would appear before PCAA hearings and if their licenses were revoked then PIA would terminate all of them.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Airline Pilots Association (PALPA) has stated that 34 pilots, given show cause notices, are not accused of cheating or passing by illegal means but performing flying duty and appearing in exam only on same date.

"The said 34 pilots were given show cause notices without following set procedures as they were suspended first and then issued show cause notices."

PALPA said that the show cause notices had established the fact that all 34 pilots at least appeared in written exams and had no issue what the aviation minister stated on the floor of the house.

"Now these 34 cases have been asked to prove how they did two duties - appearing in written exams and doing flight the same day which is ridiculous accusation in aviation as the test lasts only few hours while one can fly the rest of the day which is absolutely legal. Appearing in exam is not considered a legal duty; therefore, no rules of PCAA were violated.

"We reserve our right to approach the court of law and we will provide all assistance to these members who have been wrongfully accused of cheating without any reason, embarrassing Pakistan and its flying community globally," the PALPA said. PALPA is now waiting for the list of 85 pilots declared bogus by the aviation minister in the national assembly apart from 141 PIA, 9 Air Blue, 10 Serene, 17 EX Shaheen.

"PIA and the PCAA have been unable to provide any details on these 85 missing pilots," PALPA said. Out of the total 262 accused these 34 pilots are the first to be sent show cause notices which itself is illegal and against the procedure.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020