Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday had to face embarrassment at the hands of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that said all commercial pilot licences (CPL) and airline transport licences (ATPL) issued by the authority were genuine and validly issued.
Pakistani pilots working with foreign airlines as well as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have now for weeks been unable to discharge their duties amid bars by the international community following the aviation minister’s claims of dubious licences.
His statements on the floor of the National Assembly had led to grounding of several Pakistani pilots working with foreign airlines besides the suspension of the national carrier’s operations in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) as well as the United States (US) over safety concerns.
READ: US bans PIA
According to reports, the Aviation Division secretary, who is also serving as the director general (DG) of Pakistan CAA has told the DG of Civil Aviation Regulation of Oman that all CPL and ATPL licenses issued by his office are genuine and validly issued.
In a letter, a copy of which is available with The Current, he wrote that his office had cleared or verified 96 pilots licenses out of 104 names received from various CAAs or foreign airlines. This includes the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Vietnam Airlines, Bahrain Air, Civil Aviation Malaysia, Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department and Turkish Airlines.
The remaining licenses will be cleared by next week, he maintained and added that the matter had been “misconstrued and incorrectly highlighted” by media as well as netizens on social media.