What you need to know about the Pakistan Pilot Scandal

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Earlier this year, ICAO or International Civil Aviation Organization resolved the investigation on Pakistan civil aviation over major safety concerns that emerged in 2020. But what is it and why is it such a big deal in aviation?

In today’s article, we will take you back to 2020 to see what had happened that struck the safety concern for ICAO over Pakistani pilots, how they resolved the situation, as well as what is next for Pakistani aviation.

The Pakistani Pilots Scandal of 2020

Plane Crash Revealed Fake Pilot Licenses.

The beginning of this story was a plane crash incident of Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 plane in May 2020. This particular plane crash caused the lives of 97 people. Only two people on board survived the incident.

The PIA 8303 used an A320 plane from Airbus. The plane crashed into a residential area of Karachi, with a few people on the ground also injured by the crash. 

The Economic Times reported that the pilots ignored warnings and instructions from air traffic control about the height and speed of the aircraft when landing. The voice recording revealed that the pilots repeatedly said they were satisfied with the speed and height they were on despite being warned many times. 

Fake License, Fake Pilot.

After the crash was investigated, the Minister of Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, expressed to the media that over 260 of 860 active pilots in Pakistan had fake licenses or cheated on the exams, some might have had somebody else take the test in their place. The names of 262 pilots were revealed to avoid misunderstanding for other pilots. 

After the verification of the license, 172 licenses were cleared, while 82 failed to verify. The rest licenses were either canceled prior to the inquiry, invalid due to the death of the pilots, or still under the verification process.

PIA Grounded Pakistani 150 Fake Pilots

Shortly after the investigation of the crash and the reveal of the pilot names, PIA, Pakistani Flag Carrier, took the matter seriously and acted quickly in response to the news. They grounded 150 pilots on the lists immediately. 

Because of the Pakistan Pilot Scandal, Pakistani pilots and airlines were also sanctioned by the USA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency as well. The European Union Aviation discontinued TCO (Third Country Operator) Authorization for Pakistani carriers and the USA refused Pakistan origin aircraft to be allowed to enter US territory.

The Comeback of Pakistan Aviation Industry

ICAO Carried Out a 10-day Audit in Pakistan

To clear the tarred name of Pakistani pilots and Pakistan Aviation industry, an audit must be done. ICAO carried out an audit to examine the safety and the standard of Pakistan civil aviation industry. 

The audit carried on for 10 days and the result from the audit was satisfying for both ICAO and the Pakistan Aviation Authority.  

ICAO Authority’s Statement Over Pakistan Aviation Safety Concern

Pakistan’s aviation authority revealed the statement from the ICAO stating that “The Committee determined that the actions taken by Pakistan had successfully resolved significant safety concerns.”

Which means that Pakistan had cleared their reputation toward the safety concern emerging from the fake pilot scandal. The future of Pakistani Aviation is looking bright and shiny right now. 

Good News for Pakistani Aviation Industry

After the ICAO stated that Pakistan had resolved the safety concerns, the Pakistani pilots can now take their jobs back and Pakistani airlines can now resume their flight to Europe and the United State without any restriction.

Final Thoughts

The year 2022 seems to be one good year for the aviation industry since the pandemic has cooled down and countries’ borders are reopened. Airlines around the world now have the hope to fully recover and fully operate once again. Fortunately for the Pakistan Aviation Industry, all concern and bad reputation is cleared in the year when the world of aviation and air traveling will return to its thriving nature. 

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