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‘No fake pilots exist in Pakistan’

Senator Saleem Mandviwala, following a meeting of the sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation, dismissed the assertion made by the former aviation minister regarding the existence of fake
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No fake pilots exist in Pakistan

Senator Saleem Mandviwala, following a meeting of the sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation, dismissed the assertion made by the former aviation minister regarding the existence of fake pilot licenses in Pakistan. He reiterated that there were no fake pilots in the country.

Former aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had previously disclosed in June 2020 that investigations had uncovered fake licenses or cheating in exams by more than 260 out of the country’s 860 active pilots.

During the meeting held at the Parliament House, chaired by Senator Mandviwala, the sub-committee thoroughly reviewed the cases of license cancellations for PIA pilots. Officials from the Ministry of Aviation, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), PIA, and FIA provided briefings on the matter.

Senator Mandviwala informed that 180 pilots have been reinstated, while the remaining 80 pilots’ cases are under review. Many of the pilots were facing issues without any apparent reason.

The CAA director general revealed that unfair practices were observed in pilot exams involving certain CAA officials and retired pilots.

Senator Mandviwala expressed concern over the persisting problems faced by pilots over the past three years, emphasizing that they should have been resolved by now, as they are impacting the national airline’s performance.

The matter was brought up in the Standing Committee on Aviation, leading to the formation of the sub-committee. The committee aims to provide recommendations for resolving these issues constructively and not assigning blame. It seeks to address the problems faced by pilots and improve the national airline’s performance. The director general of Civil Aviation highlighted that the issues with the licenses of 262 pilots caused problems at the international level as well.

Following the investigation, 180 pilots were cleared, while 82 pilots still faced issues. As per the cabinet’s directive, 50 licenses were canceled, and in 32 cases, it was decided to suspend those who did not exercise their privileges for six months.

The Supreme Court had directed the ministry to take action against instances of forgery in relation to pilots with fake degrees. The department conducted an inquiry and charged 68 pilots.

Senator Mandviwala instructed that details of those who have been discharged, along with the reasons for their discharge, be provided.

The committee raised concerns over the cancellation of all licenses based on suspicion of fake Airline Transport Pilot Licenses (ATPL). Senator Mandviwala suggested that if there were issues with pilots’ exams, they could be re-examined.

The CAA director general clarified that the dismissed pilots due to fake licenses did not have security clearance, whereas the pilot in question had security clearance. He mentioned that suspicions were raised regarding the licenses of 33 pilots, and cases have been registered against 27 of them. No cases have been registered against the remaining six pilots. A review board was established for a period of 30 days, operating for two years during which pilots could appeal.

Senator Mandviwala proposed involving the FIA in order to develop a mechanism to address the matter.

The committee was informed that 19 cases were presented to the review board, and 18 of them have been resolved. Three pilots were granted relief, while seven received partial relief.

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