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No pilot licenses fake: CAA DG letter says

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 15, 2020 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Jul 15, 2020 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
No pilot licenses fake: CAA DG letter says

Image: Samaa Digital

In a letter dated July 13, 2020, Civil Aviation Authority Director General Hassan Nasir Jamy notified his counterpart in Oman that none of the CAA-issued pilot licenses were fake. This ran contrary to what Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had revealed last month. 

SAMAA Money called CAA spokesperson Abdul Sattar Khokhar and left him questions. We will be updating this story as soon as he responds. 

In the last week of June, the aviation minister said that 262 or 30% of Pakistan’s 860 pilots have “fake” licenses. Sharing details of what he described as corruption within the CAA, the federal minister said 34 had not appeared in any of the eight exams, a requirement to qualify for a license. And 28 were suspected of having fake degrees. His pronouncements came to the fore weeks after PK-8303, operated by Pakistan International Airlines, crashed in Karachi, killing 97 people.
“We will no longer allow political hirings,” the minister said while sharing the findings of the incident’s preliminary report, which held the pilots responsible. 

Sarwar’s statement dealt a fresh blow to PIA, already struggling for survival, as more than half of these pilots belong to it. As a result, PIA grounded 141 pilots suspected of fake licenses and fired 28 of them. The CAA also suspended 34 licenses. 

The pronouncement about fake licenses made global headlines and put the credibility of Pakistan’s aviation regulator and the pilots it licences under a pall. downgraded PIA to one-star, the lowest rating on its safety index. International airlines grounded Pakistani pilots, air transport bodies raised safety concerns and demanded an inquiry into the matter while several countries shut their airports to Pakistani flights. The foreign aviation regulator instructed its airlines to immediately ground Pakistani pilots till the CAA verified the authenticity of their flying permits. And this brings us back to the DG’s letter.

After the bad press, CAA DG Jamy wrote the letter, whose contents contradict the minister: “All Commercial Pilot Licenses and Airline Transport Pilot Licenses issued by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority are genuine and validly issued,” read the DG’s letter.

The pilot’s exams are computer-based and conducted under strict vigilance with closed-circuit TV cameras monitoring them. You can’t cheat or dodge this system without inside help, but neither the minister nor the DG came up with a single name from within the regulator involved in this alleged negligence. The same goes for the suspicion over the degrees, which should have been verified by the CAA. The minister chose, however, to make public the names of these pilots before completing the investigation. As a result, some pilots whose names were on the list are planning to dispute this in court. They say their record is clean and they have documentary evidence to prove their licenses are genuine. This includes retired pilots who want to clear their name.

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  1. Naeem Khan  July 16, 2020 9:11 pm/ Reply

    If that’s the case, the aviation minister needs to be sacked immediately for providing misleading information on the floor of the house that caused a worldwide ban on the national carrier.

    • sufyaan ali  July 18, 2020 2:14 am/ Reply

      and pia needs new planes 2020 model not 1990

  2. arshad ali  July 18, 2020 2:12 am/ Reply

    Pia needs to buy new planes and with upgrade in flight entertainment. Pia needs to learn a big lesson after what they did with people round the world due to covid 19 where passengers were stuck in pakistan and round the world charging passengers treble the fair price and avoiding the old tickets.. this will be pia last chance if it comes. Or else there’s other flights like Turkish,Emirates, Qatar, British Airways, etihad.. look how Ethiopia are buying new planes. And see our national flag carrier pia using used 1990 planes they don’t care about anyone just money, but do remember almighty allah jee swt is watching closely.

  3. Muhammad Musa  July 19, 2020 12:53 am/ Reply

    Earlier public was told that around 107 pilots are working for foreign air lines and today there is a news that more than 160 licenses have been validated by the CAA of pilots who are working for foreign air lines !

    And one report says names of retired and dead pilots are included in the list of “Fake” licence holders.

    This shows the state of affairs of ministry, looking after aviation in Pakistan.

    Is there anybody to question Minister or CAA for this “misinformation” !

  4. Muhammad Qadeer  July 20, 2020 3:10 am/ Reply

    Ghulam sarwar needs to be removed from his designation ASAP who put whole PIA in jeopardy without knowing the facts and all blame put on pilot, looks like he wanted to answer and closed the chapter of PIA crashed too early and with in few days he figured out that licenses are fake no one would believe his misinformation. He should apologize for distracted whole nation and around the world with false information and fulfill all loss of PIA

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