Pakistani experts to inform EASA of steps taken to lift PIA ban

Team of aviation officials to travel to Brussels in September

Our Correspondent August 27, 2022
Two flights of national airline carrying 725 Umra pilgrims from Jeddah have reached Islamabad airport. PHOTO: REUTERS



A team of Pakistani aviation officials would be sent to Brussels next month to inform the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) about the steps taken to restore Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight operations, officials said on Friday.

The government has stepped up its efforts to restore the national carrier’s flights to European countries, the UK and US.

During a briefing given to Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, the officials said the team would discuss their air security, safety and operational issues with the agency.

On the occasion, the minister directed the PIA to carry relief goods of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) free of charge for the victims of the recent floods.

He added that all national institutions had to fulfill their duty together for the relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.

Last month, the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation was informed that the international aviation safety bodies had fixed the date for the audit of the national carrier.

The director general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), told the meeting that after an online audit in October this year by the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA), a physical one would also take place by EASA.

The PIA landed in hot water in the wake of its flight PK-8303 crashing in Karachi on May 22, 2020, and the subsequent announcement by then aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan of the grounding of 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams.

In January this year, EASA had refused to lift the ban imposed on the PIA to travel to European countries and the UK on the basis of the audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Following the findings of the audit, the PIA CEO had written a letter to EASA to lift the ban.

In his two-page response sent on January 20, EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky had written that while the development was an important step towards potential lifting of suspension of the PIA’s authorisation, it was important to address the overall oversight capacity of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA).

“As indicated in our letter dated 31 March 2021, the emerging situation on the above-mentioned SSC indicated serious degradation of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority certification and oversight capabilities. Such information shall be taken [into account] by EASA when lifting the suspension,” the letter had read.

It had added EASA would conduct its own audit of PIA prior to lifting of the restrictions in accordance with Article 235(d) of the TCO Regulation (EU) No 452/2014.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ