Islamabad: Pakistan plans to split the civil aviation authority (CAA) into two separate regulatory and operational entities to improve the overall performance of its sector of air transport, said a senior government official on Thursday.
The proposal was put forward in March 2019, but his discussion once again after the Minister of aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, claimed last month that “nearly 40 percent ” of the pilots of the country was a fake license.
Soon after the scandal, aviation experts have confirmed that the government should bifurcate the operations of the CAA to strengthen regulatory control over pilots and flight operations.
“The special Committee of the Cabinet of Ministers discussed the issue of bifurcation of civil aviation,” Abdul Sattar Khokhar, chief Secretary, Department of civil aviation, told Arab News on Thursday. “Once this is done, it will go for approval to the Federal Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament”.
“It will also allow you to remove the conflict of interest, as currently, the same organization acts as the regulator and provider of services,” he added, refusing to name the date of completion of the plan.
“Everything is processed and nothing is final at this stage,” he said.
The government has formulated a state policy in the field of aviation in March 2019 to make the regulatory role of the CAA is completely independent of rendering services within two years.
In accordance with the plan, SAA will be divided into the Pakistan regulatory authority Pakistan civil aviation administrations and airports. The scheme is also aimed at outsourcing the various airports of the country in two phases to improve the quality of their service.
The Association of the Pakistan airline pilots’ (Palpa) has said that the government did not consult the body over the plan bifurcation, adding that its members had serious reservations about the functioning of the licensing branch of the CAA.
“The government must consider the anomalies in the licensing process, as the recent debate about so-called fake licence has damaged the reputation of Pakistan in the world”, – said the President of the Association, Chaudhry Salman, told Arab news.
He said that the government had banned flights 101 pilots for “questionable” professional credentials, and they were all prosecuted against this decision.
“The government should impose fines or allow re-testing instead of revocation of licenses of pilots,” said Salman.
Aviation industry experts say about the bifurcation of the CAA will not automatically optimize manufacturing operations, if the government cleaned up the whole institution of “the black sheep and the crooks.”
“This is a good initiative, but regulatory and airport authorities should be presented in two different departments to get desired results,” the Afsar Malik, aviation, business consultant, told Arab news, adding that one of the blocks may present an aviation division, and others could work under the Cabinet division.
Said Malik outsourcing airports could help the government improve its effectiveness and profit, but “the full business plan needs to be formulated in advance.”