‘Over 30% of pilots in Pakistan have fake licenses, not qualified to fly’: Pak aviation minister

While addressing the national assembly, Pakistan aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that over 260 pilots in Pakistan had paid someone else to take exams on their behalf.
File photo: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane prepares to land at Islamabad airport in Islamabad.(REUTERS)
File photo: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane prepares to land at Islamabad airport in Islamabad.(REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 25, 2020 03:59 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Sparshita Saxena

More than 30 percent of civilian pilots in Pakistan, roughly 1 in every 3, are not qualified to fly and have fake licenses, aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Wednesday as reported by CNN.

While addressing the national assembly, Khan said that over 260 pilots in Pakistan had paid someone else to take exams on their behalf.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has grounded all its pilots with fake licenses with immediate effect. The country has over 850 active pilots serving various domestic airlines, including the country’s flagship airline PIA, and other foreign carriers.

The findings were revealed after an investigation was led into a PIA plane crash in Karachi last month that killed nearly 100 people.

Khan, on Wednesday, told Parliament that the pilots of the PIA plane that crashed on May 22 were not focussed during the flight, news agency PTI reported.

He pointed out their “overconfidence and lack of concentration” as some of the reasons for the tragedy that killed 97 people on board.

“The pilot ignored the instructions of the air traffic controllers and the ATC, on the other hand, did not inform the pilot about the engine colliding... the pilots were discussing corona throughout the flight. They were not focussed. They talked about corona [...] their families were affected. When the control tower asked him to increase the plane’s height, the pilot said ‘I’ll manage’. There was overconfidence,” Khan told the national assembly on Wednesday while presenting the interim investigation report on the plane crash.

The Airbus A320 aircraft from Lahore to Karachi crashed in a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on May 22. It was carrying 91 passengers and a crew of eight aboard before it crashed into the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, minutes before landing.

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