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Despite Multiple Sackings, Pakistan Aviation Body Claims All PIA Pilot Licenses Are Valid and Genuine

File photo of Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane. (Picture Source: Reuters)

File photo of Pakistan International Airlines passenger plane. (Picture Source: Reuters)

The dubious license issue emerged after the preliminary probe report of the Karachi plane crash blamed the pilots and the air traffic control for the tragedy that killed 97 people.

Pakistan’s aviation authority has clarified to Oman that all the licenses it has issued to the commercial airline transport pilots so far are genuine, a month after the civil aviation minister alleged that almost 30 per cent of the pilots had fake licenses and did not have the flying experience, a media report said on Thursday.

Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan disclosed in the National Assembly last month that there were 860 active pilots in the country and 260 pilots had not sat their exams themselves and almost 30 per cent of the pilots had fake or improper licence and did not have the flying experience, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General Hassan Nasir Jamy in a letter dated July 13 to Mubarak Saleh Al Ghailani, Oman’s acting DG of Civil Aviation Regulation, said that all the licenses issued by it to the Pakistani pilots are genuine and valid.

It is important to clarify that all CPL/ATPL pilot licenses issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority are genuine and validly issued. None of the pilot licences are fake, rather the matter has been misconstrued and incorrectly highlighted in the media/social media, wrote the CAA chief.

Jamy wrote to Al Ghailani in response to his July 2 letter and July 9 email with regard to safety concerns over licences of Pakistani pilots working with Oman Air.

Jamy also said that CAA had already verified/cleared 96 Pakistani pilots out of 104 names received from various civil aviation authorities/foreign airlines.

He said the CAA has suspended the licenses of only 34 pilots of the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and issued them a show-cause notice, seeking an explanation as to how they performed flying duties and appeared in a written exam on the same date.

A CAA official said that several similar letters were written to civil aviation authorities and airlines of different countries to control the damage the aviation minister’s statement had caused.

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The controversy over the fake licenses of Pakistani pilots also prompted the US to impose a ban on PIA flights for at least six months. The dubious license issue emerged after the preliminary probe report of the Karachi plane crash blamed the pilots and the air traffic control for the tragedy that killed 97 people. The domestic flight from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on May 22.

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