Senate Sub-Committee on Aviation discusses CAA’s fake licences’ issue

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: The sub-Committee on the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation held meeting on Friday to inquire, investigate and fix responsibility in the matter of alleged fake flying licences issued by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) resulting in international airspace restrictions and embarrassment.
Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokar presided over the meeting also attended by Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Senator Sajjad Hussain Turi, senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation and Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association (PALPA).
The Committee was informed that in 2018 scrutiny of the Pilot examination records by Aviation Division and CAA revealed that discrepancies existed between the result sheets generated by the examination software and the attendance sheets generated by the examination were held on the days that pilots were actually not registered / scheduled for the test; exams were taken on holidays and in quite a few cases conducted outside the working hours.
The Committee was informed that an inquiry was conducted by a five-member team headed by Mr. Rizwan Ahmed, Chairman PNSC. PALPA informed the Committee that during the course of investigation, none of PALPA’s members were heard. It was revealed that of all the l41 licences that were declared fake there are 35 names who are not part of PIA’s Network. 20 are those who were never enrolled by PIA, 25 were those with wrong reference numbers and 45 were those cases that were manipulated with regards to Civil Aviation Rules and Regulations (CARRS) details of which would be provided to the Committee.
Members of the Committee were of the view that in order to get to the root of the matter, it was essential that the Forensic Report be submitted to the Committee. It was asserted that details of the software designer and those who operated the software must be submitted to the Committee to ensure that no tampering of data occurred.
It was asserted Forensic Experts must be invited to read and interpret the report. PALPA was directed to submit their case in writing and all evidence to the Committee. The Forensic Report must be presented to the Committee and Mr. Rizwan Ahmed, who headed the investigation, must be present in the next meeting.