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Nearly 40 Per Cent of Active Pilots in Pakistan Have Fake Flying Licenses: Pak Aviation Minister

File photo of a Pakistan International Airlines flight.

File photo of a Pakistan International Airlines flight.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that the pilots were not focused before landing as their families were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • IANS Islamabad
  • Last Updated: June 25, 2020, 10:36 AM IST
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Pakistan's Minister for Civil Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed a startling fact about the pilots in Pakistan when he stated that nearly 40 per cent of the active ones did not have a genuine license. The Minister revealed that at least 262 out of the 860 active pilots did not attend the exam themselves. He claimed that Pilots were also appointed on political basis, unfortunately. Merit was ignored while appointing pilots.

In response to the same, the Pakistan Aviation Ministry has also issued showcause notices to 54 pilots out of which 9 pilots have confessed to having fake licenses.

The Minister, on Wednesday presented the preliminary report on the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash before the National Assembly, where he accused the pilots of being ‘overconfident'.

The domestic flight from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on May 22.

The Airbus A320 aircraft had 91 passengers and a crew of eight when it crashed in the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, minutes before landing. One girl on the ground also died after suffering burn injuries.

Two passengers miraculously survived the crash.

A probe was ordered by the government with the commitment that the initial report would be shared with Parliament on June 22.

Based on the initial report, Khan held the pilot, the cabin crew, and the Air Traffic Control (ATC) responsible for the plane crash which resulted in the deaths of 97 out of 99 persons on board the flight, the Express Tribune reported.

"The pilot and the ATC did not follow the procedure. The plane was 100 per cent okay," said the minister, eliminating the possibility of technical faults in the aircraft.

Khan added that the pilots were not "focused" because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"In the last half hour, the pilots' discussion was about coronavirus, they were not focused as their families were affected," said the Minister, adding that the pilot and co-pilot were both fit and experienced.

The final report on the crash will be presented in one year, added the Aviation Minister.

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In the past 72 years, there have been 12 such incidents, said Khan. No investigation report was issued, no one knew who was responsible, admitted the minister in the National Assembly.

He also assured the House that the government would not privatise Pakistan International Airlines. Instead, it will be "restructured" and the government would take it back to its glory days.

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