Pakistan's Aviation Division has suspended 15 more pilots for having dubious licences, raising the overall tally to 93, as verification continued, it was reported on Saturday. The 15 are among the 262 pilots possessing suspicious licences, reports Dawn news.
On Friday, Abdul Sattar Khokhar, spokesman for the Aviation Division, said a total of 262 pilots were identified as possessing suspicious licences by the Board of Inquiry and grounded immediately after identification on the instructions of the government. He said the federal cabinet had approved the cancellation of the licences of 28 pilots, out of these 262 pilots.
They will not be able to undertake any flying duty and their licences have been cancelled after proper legal procedures under which the pilots were given an opportunity of hearing. Meanwhile, the process of verification of licences of 93 pilots has been initiated and the processing of the remaining 141 cases is expected to be completed within a week.
The spokesman said the entire process of scrutiny and validation followed by necessary disciplinary action was being closely monitored and supervised by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan. Last month, while furnishing before the National Assembly a preliminary report on the May 22 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash in Karachi, Khan had claimed that 40 per cent of the country's pilots held "fake licences".
The issue has attracted global attention as global destinations, airlines and air safety agencies had suspended authorization of PIA. It brought global embarrassment to Pakistan and was declared as the biggest scam in the global aviation industry.