262 pilots with 'dubious' credentials to be grounded: minister

262 pilots with 'dubious' credentials to be grounded: minister

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has said that licenses of 262 pilots are "dubious" and thus they will be barred from flying.

Addressing in the National Assembly on Friday, the minister said the pilots in the line of fire include 141 from Pakistan International Airlines, nine from Air Blue and 10 from Serene Airline.

The rest of the 262 belong to flying clubs or chartered plane services, he said. He said all the airlines and the clubs had been conveyed that: “Their credentials are dubious, and they shouldn’t be allowed to fly.”

Khan said that a total of 753 pilots are serving in Pakistani airlines, while 107 are serving in foreign airlines bringing the number to 860.

Among the pilots, 121 pilots are suspected of faking one test result — someone else gave their exam. Forty nine are suspected of faking two , 21 of faking three, 15 of faking four, 11 of faking five, 11 of faking six, 10 of faking seven, and 34 of faking eight papers, bringing their number to 262.

"The lists of the suspected pilots have been sent to relevant authorities, including a letter and a list of 141 pilots to PIA’s chief executive, instructing him to bar these men from further flying," said the minister.

He said that the pilots under investigation were inducted before 2018. "After 2018 we have not hired anyone in the aviation division."

Meanwhile, PIA said that the licences were issued by the competent authority and were "valid as per their records".

“Dubious Pilots Licenses do not pertain to PIA alone. Let it be on record, these licenses were issued by the competent authority and are valid as per their records. It's the process & discrepancies through which they were obtained, triggered the inquiry by GoP & action,” PIA said in a tweet.

A day earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed summoned the director general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to explain allegations of fake licences by some pilots of different airlines of the country who fly passenger aircraft and thus put the lives of people at stake, a serious offence under the law.