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Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan Monday announced in principle separation of regulatory and airport services functions of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).
This came to light after a meeting was held between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan. PM Khan gave approval for the proposed separation of regulatory functions from the airport services.
Ghulam Sarwar Khan mentioned that the reason behind regulatory separation is that the federal cabinet had asked for the separation. Secondly, National Aviation Policy 2019 stipulates separation of regulatory function as per ICAO requirements. Thirdly, ICAO's universal safety oversight audit is scheduled in September 2020, he added.
He also said that de-linking requires comprehensive consideration of aspects like assured service quality, separation of human resource, workable reorganisation, steady revenue generation and most importantly to ensure safety and customer satisfaction. After the separation, the regulatory body of PCAA will work under Cabinet Division and Airport Services of Pakistan (ASP) will be under Aviation Division. Subsequent to separation, ASP shall be registered with SECP owning 43 airports in Pakistan.
The company shall operate on the various commercial models. After valuation of assets, interested parties shall be invited for investment in a subsidiary company for initially 3 major airports i.e. Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore.
Another model shall be to invite open tender for operating initially above 3 referred airports. In case no positive response is received in connection with above options, the company shall consider joint venture (JV) for operating the airports. In case of no acceptable responses, the company shall operate airport by itself, he said.
The federal minister also mentioned about timeline for separation. He said till August 2019, there will be change of management committee, valuation will be made, rules of business will be developed and legal reviews will be taken. And till September 2019, there will be mid-process review, stakeholders' input will be sought and government approvals will be processed. While till December 2019, there will be implementation, administrative allocation, ICAO review and SMS review. This separation will benefit aviation sector in the longer run, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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