At a time when commercial aviation and hospitality business is passing through its worst crisis, and PIA unfortunately had a fatal crash with about 97 fatalities, there was absolutely no need to rake the hornet’s nest by publicly announcing the alleged fake licences of pilots.
The announcement has caused much international disdain for Pakistan and has effectively resulted in a six-month ban by EASA while thousands of CAA licence-holders working in foreign airlines are under the unemployment threat. The central focus instead should have been on investigating the crash by an independent investigation committee, not one mired in controversies through conflict of interest. As for the Airbus team, their sole interest would be to safeguard their product A320. It was only after the whole world grounded the Boeing 737 Max 800 did the company accept their mistake.
PIA and CAA must be revamped and cleansed of rot within. Instead of looking for a scapegoat in order to save their own industries, the main priority of all officials concerned should always be the safety of the people. If rules and mechanisms are formulated around this, there is a high probability that such a system will not only be more effective but the number of crash incidents might decrease significantly.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2020.