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Business & Finance

Pakistan has successfully resolved aviation safety concerns: UN aviation body

  • ICAO's letter comes as positive for country's aviation sector and its pilots
Published January 5, 2022

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations (UN) body, has said that Pakistan has successfully resolved safety concerns, a development that paves way for the aviation sector to resume issuing licences to the country's pilots.

The news is a positive for Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and likely to create a positive impact on the sector and airlines as well.

The development comes after a scandal over fake licences rocked the aviation sector in Pakistan and hurt flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which was barred from flying to Europe and the United States.

However, in the letter dated January 4, 2022 and sent to Director General of PCAA, Khaqan Murtaza, Denis Guindon, the Deputy Director Monitoring and Oversight Air Navigation Bureau at ICAO, said that the actions taken by Pakistan had successfully resolved the Significant Safety Concern (SSC).

"I wish to refer to the Significant Safety Concern (SSC/PEL-01/09-2020/PAK refers) that was issued to Pakistan on 18 September 2020 as well as the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) audit that was conducted by an ICAO team in Pakistan from 29 November to 10 December 2021," stated the letter, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder.

“During the audit, the ICAO team reviewed the corrective actions taken and related evidence presented by Pakistan to address the SSC regarding the licensing system of the State, specifically in relation to the examinations conducted by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and by delegated or designated training organizations prior to the issuance of licences and ratings."

The letter added that the ICAO SSC Validation Committee reviewed the actions and relevant evidence validated in Pakistan.

“The Committee determined that the actions taken by Pakistan had successfully resolved SSC,” read the letter, while lauding PCAA for their assistance to the ICAO team during the audit mission.

Back in September 2020, ICAO advised Pakistan to undertake immediate corrective action and suspend the issue of any new pilot licenses after false licences came to light following the crash of a PIA plane in May that year.

Pakistani aviation authority hopes to resume licensing in February

Last month, a nine-member ICAO team carried out an audit in Pakistan for 10 days. PCAA back then said that the audit team of ICAO appreciated the progress of PCAA, adding that the outcome of the audit has been very positive without any significant concerns.

In June last year, Pakistan grounded 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams following checks of their qualifications.

The action was prompted by the preliminary report on an airliner crash in Karachi last year.

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