40pc of pilots in Pakistan have fake licences: minister

ISLAMABAD: As many as 262 pilots (40 percent) of the total 860 active pilots in the country do not have licences or possess fake licences, aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan told the National Assembly.

He said pilots were not hired on merit and that fake degrees and licences were issued to them.

“Almost 40 per cent of pilots have fake licences,” he said, adding they did not have flying experience either.

The minister said the government had started to take action against all such pilots.

“In the first phase, 54 such pilots were identified. Show-cause notices were issued to 24 and nine others confessed that they were unqualified.”

He also said a woman pilot after taking training at the expense of the PIA took leave and shifted to Turkey where she was flying a plane.

The government has decided to recover the salary and training expenses from her. Moreover three more pilots on the payroll of the national flag carrier did not fly any plane for over a year but were drawing salaries sitting at their homes.

Discussing the report of the Karachi plane crash, he said besides the pilots the air traffic controllers were also at a fault as they ignored the standard protocols.

The minister also spoke about past accidents, the Air Blue crash in 2010, Bojha Airlines crash in 2012, plane crash in Chitral in 2016 and the crash landing of a plane in Gilgit in 2019. He said Air Blu and Bojha Airlines crash occurred due to “human error and various breaches of flying discipline”.

He said the technical fault in the PK-661 from Chitral that crashed crashed near Havelian while coming to Islamabad was “so complicated” that the plane manufacturer itself has not been able to reach a conclusion yet. The minister, however, promised that its inquiry report would be presented in August of this year.

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