Overflight charges: No fee charged from foreign airlines for 12 years

Published: June 15, 2014
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CAA has no record of the airlines using Pakistani airspace. PHOTO: FILE

CAA has no record of the airlines using Pakistani airspace. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) report has revealed that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has not charged overflight fees from any foreign air carrier using Pakistan’s airspace since 2002, faulting top CAA officials with criminal negligence.

According to sources, the CAA secretary had filed a report in this regard to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a year ago.

The report revealed that many international airlines have used Pakistan’s airspace but for the last 12 years the country had not received any overflight fees, which it was entitled to according to the international civil aviation laws. These fees run into billions of rupees.

The report also claimed that the CAA’s top officials were responsible for this negligence. Taking action on the report, the PM had asked the FIA to investigate the matter and take strict disciplinary action against those responsible.

Later on the FIA director general formed an investigation team – headed by the FIA Additional Director Javed Akbar Riaz – which has completed its preliminary investigation.

According to the findings of the team, the CAA has no record of the foreign airlines that have used Pakistan’s airspace during the last 12 years.

According to sources, the CAA authorities tried to create hurdles in the FIA probe. Despite that, the investigation team managed to find out the relevant data of the last three years.

The data revealed that only one foreign airline – Afghanistan’s Safi Airways – had used Pakistan’s airspace 6,000 times in three years.

When the FIA team pointed out this fact to the CAA, the authority issued a bill of Rs100 million to Safi Airways, which has been carrying out these flights from Kabul to Tehran.

According to sources, following the 9/11 incident air traffic to Pakistan had increased many times. However, during all these years the CAA did not charge any amount from these airlines for some inexplicable reason. Extending the scope of its investigation, the FIA has also sought the record regarding other airlines. Sources said after initiation of the probe, the CAA has also decided to demand Rs1million from a Middle Eastern airline.

The FIA has issued legal notices to more than 20 key official of the aviation body and is investigating from the top officials of the CAA’s traffic regulations, billing and operations departments.

Talking to Daily Express, the FIA investigation team’s head Javed Akbar Riaz said it was a highly technical investigation. “However, the FIA team has managed to unearth irregularities through sheer hard work and the probe is progressing rapidly,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Omer
    Jun 15, 2014 - 11:41AM

    Find the record and bill all these alirlines. Recover the damn monies!

    Recommend

  • Asif
    Jun 15, 2014 - 12:20PM

    When the FIA team pointed out this fact to the CAA, the authority issued a bill of Rs100 million to Safi Airways, which has been carrying out these flights from Kabul to Tehran.

    Never knew a flight from Kabul to Tehran has to fly over Pakistani airspace!! Someone needs to take Geography lessons.

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  • A-No.1
    Jun 15, 2014 - 2:54PM

    Pakistan is an extremely rich country which can afford to ignore this revenue stream. How dare the FIA investigate the largesse of CAA geniuses and overlords.

    Recommend

  • Abid P. Khan
    Jun 15, 2014 - 2:54PM

    @Omer:
    “Find the record and bill all these alirlines. Recover the damn monies!”

    We are a generous people.

    Recommend

  • usman786
    Jun 15, 2014 - 2:59PM

    Otherwise recover salary of in charge CAA in that period with fine. Also incl nato flights which have to be monitor ed

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  • Naeem Khan Manhattan,Ks
    Jun 15, 2014 - 9:19PM

    Lets see how many of these CAA’s top employees are political appointees. We also know that flunkies are always find employment through their political parties in the State institutions. Go and look around in PIA, Pakistan Steel Mill, Pakistan petroleum and gas and other institutions. What do you expect from these flunkies as long as they get hefty pay to take it home.

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jun 15, 2014 - 9:40PM

    Let’s see how many of these incompetent people are really punished.

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  • Monty
    Jun 15, 2014 - 11:00PM

    Thumbs up to Javed Akber Riaz!

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  • Anon
    Jun 15, 2014 - 11:29PM

    It’s fine, it’s not like we’re short of money or anything….

    Recommend

  • fuad
    Jun 15, 2014 - 11:48PM

    Food for thought!

    Money came, but was deposited overseas!!

    No airline owes us anything….

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  • Jibs
    Jun 16, 2014 - 12:27AM

    How is this even possible ?! Corruption aside, airlines have accounts and audits (at least the big international ones do) – how has no one ever picked this up ?!?

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  • Ishrat salim
    Jun 16, 2014 - 12:45AM

    There was a automated system installed in CAA headquarters whereby all overflights were recorded and immediately invoiced on line to those airlines….but self interest, selfish, dishonest and corrupt people in league with those airlines made it non-operative and reversed to manual invoicing…..this news was reported in a media newspaper recently…..

    There are many more such incidence not one has been accountable, so this case will also be brushed under the carpet….

    Recommend

  • usman
    Jun 16, 2014 - 1:01AM

    @Asif:
    the news reporter, fia officials and CAA staff all are equally capable and eligible.Recommend

  • Char Latan
    Jun 16, 2014 - 1:11AM

    Just the drone operators must owe a fortune.

    Recommend

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