Pakistan’s minister of aviation has called a denied authenticity of a letter issued by Pakistan Civil Aviation’s Additional director licensing Khalid Mehmood. In a letter issued on 24 September 2020, Khalid Mehmood wrote to Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue, and Serene Air with the subject clarification regarding suspected pilot licenses based on data provided by operators. The minister while talking to Adil Shahzeeb on his program Barri Baat on Hum News said he does not know if CAA has written to airlines.
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Ghulam Sarwar Khan further said “It is not in my knowledge that CAA has written to airlines that you have provided wrong information to us. All the pilot’s airlines had, PIA had around 141 pilots, they were asked to send all the details and credentials. With that there were few, 10, 12, 15 were from Serene Air, few just like that, 15 to 20 were from Airblue. After taking all their record a forensic audit, a forensic inquiry was conducted. Discrepancies were found and then discussion occurred on that. After that cabinet decided that all legal requirements should be fulfilled. They should be suspended and stopped from flying”.
Adil asked further that apart from 80 rest of the pilots out of 262 are clear. The minister replied to that “rest of them are cleared only 8 pilots are there”.
We have a copy of this letter provided by journalist Tahir Imran who did a story about this letter on BBC Urdu. Adil Shahzeb mentioned his story in the TV program. The letter made the following 4 points and it is addressed to Director Flight Operations (DFO) PIA, Director Flight Operations (DFO) Serene Air, Director Flight Operations (DFO) AirBlue, and copies were sent to DDG CAA (Regulatory), Director Flight Standards, PSO to DGCAA, Secretary to Additional DGCAA.
- As per the BOI response, it has been established that deficient/ erroneous data of pilots are provided to BOI by the airline operators. As a result, a number of pilots were incorrectly identified and implicated as suspected in the list of 262 suspected pilots during the conduct of a forensic audit of PCAA record of the computer-based pilot license examination (ATPL/ C P L).
- On receipt of the revised data of pilots from the airline operators, a request was made to BOI to re-verify the record of the computer-based pilot license examination (ATPL/ CPL) of the said pilots. Accordingly, BOI has re-verified the revised data provided by airline operators and informed that the examination record of 30 pilots has been found to be clear and valid (list enclosed). The anomalies highlighted earlier were due to wrong Pilot IDs mentioned in data provided by the airline operators.
- It is therefore advised to initiate appropriate action against officials who had provided the deficient/erroneous data which resulted in the wrongful implication of these pilots as suspected.
When approached Tahir Imran said “after receiving the letter I confirmed it from Aviation Division and two senior CAA and Aviation Division officials confirmed the letter. The letter was shared by a source in a private airline and I then confirmed it from Serene Air and PIA. So this letter and news story is verified from 6 sources who are at senior-most positions of the Pakistani aviation industry”.