The meeting was presided over by Senator Hidayatullah. Members of the Committee who attended were Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, and Senator Afnan Ullah Khan. Movers of Motions and Petitions present were Senator Azam Khan Swati, Senator Bharamand Khan Tangi and Senator Naseeb Ullah Bazai along with senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation.
Matters taken up by the Committee included appointment and emoluments of DG Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), negligence of PIA staff at Dubai Airport, PIA letting out 7 slots at Heathrow Airport to other international airlines, expensive PIA fares on the China route and development of General Aviation space at Jinnah International and Islamabad International Airports,
Discussing the appointment and emoluments of DG Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Committee showed concern regarding the eligibility criteria and stressed the need to address the matter at the earliest. The Committee also enquired the reasons for the position not being readvertised. The Ministry informed the Committee that this was a hard area appointment and was conducted via the Establishment Division. It asserted that the competence and honesty of the officer could not be challenged. Details of all appointments made during his tenure will be shared with the Committee.
Regarding the matter of negligence of PIA staff towards passengers the Committee was informed that action had been taken according to local labour laws. Bothe employees have been suspended and have been advised to report t Town Office Dubai. Country Manager has been to evaluate their retention or otherwise. The Committee was of the view that the issue is of grave concern and must be addressed accordingly. Gross violation of public need cannot be tolerated.
Deliberating over PIA letting out 7 slots at Heathrow Airport to international airlines, the Committee enquired about the profit margin that the PIA would attain through this. The Committee was informed that all modalities will be worked out correspondingly. Currently on the UK and Europe routes, PIA would 3/4th share whereas other airlines 1/4th.
Discussing exorbitant PIA fares on the China route, the Committee was informed that the main reason for this was negligible passenger demand. Capacity restriction has also been imposed on Pakistan by the Chinese Government according to which PIA cannot operate with more than 75 percent of the total aircraft capacity. Increased fuel prices and currency depreciation are other factors that have contributed to this state of affairs.
While discussing development of General Aviation space at Jinnah International and Islamabad International Airports, the Committee asserted that PIA must review the Lahore Airport Model. PIA assured the Committee that all out efforts will be made in this regard and that a detailed feasibility report along with costs will be shared with the Committee.