After two major air crashes in the last two years, international experts have been, once again, called in to identify problems with Pakistan’s aviation system and facilities.
A team of experts of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is arriving to look into safety and security arrangements at the country’s airports, sources said.
Earlier in April, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directed the government to reinvestigate the AirBlue crash through an independent inquiry by international experts. The ICAO team will also look into the matter, sources added.
The ICAO team’s visit coincides with visits from two other teams that include experts from the Boeing company. The second team will address the issues related to the insurance of the Bhoja Air crash, sources added.
When contacted, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson Pervez George told The Express Tribune that visits by international teams are routine practices. He explained that air crash investigations are conducted by the CAA and the engineers of the manufactures of the plane. If a team from the Boeing is arriving, it is because their reputation is also at stake, he said.
However, George said that he was not aware about the schedule of the ICAO team’s visit at this point.
The past year has been amongst the worst for aviation in Pakistan.
On Friday, two training aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) collided mid-air, killing four pilots on board and a civilian in Nowshera. The ill-fated Mashaq planes were on a flight formation training mission.
Earlier on July 28, 2010, Air blue Airbus 321 crashed into the Margala hills in Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board. Less than two years after that, on April 20, 2012, a Bhoja Air plane crashed in Islamabad killing all 127 on board.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2012.
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