KARACHI: That another plane has crashed — in eerily similar circumstances — on the same flight route of Karachi to Islamabad, in less than two years means that something is seriously wrong with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and how it regulates airline travel in Pakistan.
The CAA needs to be held accountable, not because it is yet to release the investigation report into the Airblue tragedy. What is needed is an independent authority to investigate all plane crashes, much like the National Transportation Safety Board in America, where the airline regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration, does not carry out such probes. This is crucial because when the CAA launches a probe into an air crash, there is a clear conflict of interest because by extension, it is also investigating its own performance as an airline industry regulator.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.