- Title: Pakistan grounds 262 airline pilots with 'dubious' credentials
- Date: 26th June 2020
- Summary: ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (JUNE 26, 2020) (REUTERS) PAKISTAN'S AVIATION MINISTER GHULAM SARWAR KHAN ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS REPORTERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) PAKISTAN'S AVIATION MINISTER GHULAM SARWAR KHAN, SAYING: "There are 28 pilots whose entire inquiries have been completed. They were given show cause (notices); then they were charge-sheeted; their personal hearing was also carried out. Nine pilots of those 28 have confessed. The Civil Aviation Authority is the authority that can cancel their licences, but the termination has to be done by the government of Pakistan, by the Federal Government." REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) PAKISTAN'S AVIATION MINISTER GHULAM SARWAR KHAN, SAYING: "We have sent a list of 148 to PIA, instructing that these pilots are not allowed to fly, so should not be permitted to fly henceforth. The letter containing the list has been dispatched to PIA. In the same way, we have sent a list of 9 pilots to Air Blue, although they are differing with it. But in our record, 9 of their pilots both ATPL (Airline Transport Pilots Licence) and ACPL (Airline Commercial Pilots Licence) are on our list. So we have also sent them a letter saying that these nine pilots of yours are suspect, their credentials are dubious, and they should not be allowed to fly. We have also issued a letter with a list of 10 pilots to Serene Air telling them that the credentials of these 10 pilots are suspect, their licenses are suspect. A forensic inquiry has been carried out against them, and further inquiry proceedings are going on, so they should not be permitted to fly." REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) PAKISTAN'S AVIATION MINISTER GHULAM SARWAR KHAN, SAYING: "The remaining 100 plus are working with different clubs, chartered flights, private flights or foreign airlines. Their names have been downloaded on the website of Civil Aviation, and a search is on to locate them, and find out which airlines they are working for. They will also be duly informed. But in the meantime, we have put their names of those 100 plus pilots on our website, saying that the credentials of these people are not credible, they are dubious and under question, their forensic inquiry has been carried out and further inquiries are going on." CLOSE OF CELL PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) PAKISTAN'S AVIATION MINISTER GHULAM SARWAR KHAN, SAYING: "We have not only done that. At the same time, our own people who were involved -- personnel of the Civil Aviation Authority and personnel of Licensing Authority -- I have suspension orders for five them in my hands; right here in front of me."
- Embargoed: 10th July 2020 21:16
- Keywords: Pakistan airlines aviation exams pilots
- Location: ISLAMABAD AND KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- City: ISLAMABAD AND KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Air Accidents,Disaster/Accidents
- Reuters ID: LVA002CK0CZ0N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pakistan is grounding 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams following inquiries into their qualifications, the aviation minister said on Friday (June 26) in a move that has caused global concern.
The action was prompted by the preliminary report on an airliner crash in Karachi last month, which found that the pilots had failed to follow standard procedures and disregarded alarms.
Ninety-seven people were killed in that crash and the airline in question, state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), said on Thursday (June 25) it would ground pilots with "dubious" licences.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said authorities had been investigating collusion between pilots and civil aviation officials since late 2018 to get around examinations.
He said all the pilots were accused of having someone sit one or more papers for them, and sometimes even all the eight papers required for an airline pilot's licence.
The 262 pilots grounded on Friday pending conclusion of inquiries against them included 141 from PIA, nine from Air Blue, 10 from Serene Airline, and 17 from Shaheen Airlines, which has closed down, Khan said.
They included 109 commercial and 153 airline transport pilots, the minister said.
PIA and Air Blue said they would comply but had not received the list of pilots to be grounded.
The minister said the lists had been sent to airlines and would also be available on the civil aviation website.
The remaining pilots belonged to flying clubs or charter services. He said all the airlines and clubs had been told that "these pilots shouldn't be allowed to fly any more".
Khan said the purge was aimed at making the Pakistani airline industry credible, that will also allay the global concerns.
The International Air Transport Association and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency have expressed concerns over such a large number of pilots having dubious credentials.
(Production: Salahuddin, Waseem Sattar and Sheree Sardar)
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