Home Latest News PIA to Ground Pilots With ‘Dubious Licenses’

PIA to Ground Pilots With ‘Dubious Licenses’

by Staff Report

File photo. Farooq Naeem—AFP

In statement, national flag carrier acknowledges findings of preliminary probe into Karachi plane crash

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Wednesday said it “acknowledges” the findings of the preliminary report into the Karachi plane crash that left 97 people dead, adding all pilots with “dubious licenses” would be grounded.

“PIA acknowledges the AAIB [Aircraft Accident Investigation Board] report and have already taken measures learning from it,” it said in a post on Twitter. “An independent Flight Data Monitoring setup [has been] established to monitor and analyze all flights. All pilots with dubious licenses will be grounded. Safety is more important than any commercial interest,” it added.

A spokesperson for PIA told local media that 15 pilots had already been grounded over “dubious” licenses, adding that the Civil Aviation Authority had been requested to provide a list of all “dubious licenses” for further action. “We acknowledge the report and are working on making our standard better,” they added.

PIA’s decision came a few hours after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan submitted in Parliament the preliminary report into the Karachi plane crash. According to the report, the plane’s pilots and Air Traffic Control were to blame for the tragedy, with the minister saying the pilots appeared distracted by the coronavirus pandemic and were not focused on their job.

During his address in Parliament, Sarwar also alleged that more than 30 percent of all pilots employed by PIA possessed “dubious licenses” obtained by either having someone else sit for exams or by faking degrees. He said the government would initiate action against all such people and threatened legal action against anyone found to have forged their qualifications.

Sarwar also vowed to “restructure” PIA and return it to its days of being a profitable enterprise.

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