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Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Grounds More Pilots

Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Grounds More Pilots
Joe Cortez

An additional 34 pilots at Pakistan International Airlines are now grounded, after the nation’s Civil Aviation Authority pulled their licenses. After an international scandal revealed many pilots with potentially fraudulent licenses, the airline has fired numerous employees, including pilots involved in the scheme.

Over 30 more pilots working for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are grounded, after the nation’s Civil Aviation Authority revoked their licenses on suspicion of fraud. The Economic Times reports the troubled airline is facing more personnel problems after an accident inquiry discovered a widespread national scandal.

Over 100 Pilots in Total Grounded by PIA

The group of 34 are suspended until further notice, as the Civil Aviation Authority investigates if their credentials and training are valid. In total, 140 pilots working for the airline are on ground orders, while 52 additional employees were fired for reasons associated with having bad credentials.

The issue of bad pilots’ licenses came to light after the crash of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 on May 22, 2020. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, an audit of pilots’ licenses discovered around 30 percent of all licenses issued may have been obtained fraudulently.

In addition, at least one senior flight attendant has gone missing, after arriving in Toronto from Islamabad. News reports say the airline is trying to find the whereabouts of an attendant named “Yasir,” after he turned off his cell phone and disappeared from his hotel room. It’s unknown if foul play is suspected in the incident.

EASA Suspends PIA, Pakistani Pilots’ Operating Rights

The additional groundings come as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is imposing sanctions on both PIA and the country’s civil aviation program. According to the Economic Times, the EASA is suspending PIA’s rights to fly to European Union member states for six months starting on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

 

In addition, the aviation authority is grounding all Pakistani pilots from working in Europe until further notice. In a letter, the group noted as many as 40 percent of pilots’ licenses could be fraudulent, describing the situation as a “grave safety concern,” as quoted by Economic Times.

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. amanuensis

    amanuensis

    July 8, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    It seems impossible to me that this problem could have been so widespread without senior executives at PIA either being complicit in it or willfully ignorant. Their board should make heads roll.

  2. amnicoll

    July 10, 2020 at 2:57 am

    I wonder if their air trafic controllers also have fake qualifications

    The whole board should be sacked

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