The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation was held on Thursday at the Parliament Lodges, Islamabad.. Members were briefed on various issues that currently being faced by the Aviation Sector in Pakistan.
The meeting was presided over by Senator Hidayatullah. Members of the Committee who attended were Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Afnan Ullah Khan. Senator Umer Farooq was present as a special invitee in relation to a query regarding flights to Quetta from Islamabad; along with senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation.
Matters taken up by the Committee included chartered flight from India on 15th August, 2022; increase in bird hits; financial losses at PIA Office London; disappearances of flight stewards and air hostesses in Canada; KIBOR being charged by CAA and flights to Quetta from Islamabad.
The meeting commenced with a briefing related to inbound and outbound flights of all domestic airlines from Islamabad to Quetta. The Committee questioned the curbing of other domestic flights on this route. The Committee stressed the need to resume flights of other domestic airlines on this route; so that fares may be regulated. The Committee was of the view that incentives may be offered to airlines to encourage flight operations on this route. The Committee was informed that the Ministry cannot force airlines to operate on a given route; since the decision is based completely on commercial feasibility and other factors.
Discussing the matter of chartered flight from India on 15th August, 2022; the Committee was informed that all processes are catered to before an aircraft enters Pakistani airspace. The given aircraft was not an Indian aircraft but a chartered aircraft that took off from India. The Committee was further briefed that while hiring chartered airplanes nearest availability is sought in order to cut costs and hence, this plane was hired. The Committee in order to ensure that all security protocols are met decided to invite representatives of ASF and Customs in the next meeting.
Regarding increase in bird hits around airports the Committee was informed that the need for taking on board provincial administration was essential to ensure that this issue is resolved at the earliest. The Committee asserted that all out efforts must be made to beef up safety measures of aircrafts on all airports. The trend of growing housing societies in airport vicinities must be curbed.
Reviewing financial losses at PIA Office London, the Committee was informed that the main reason for this was passenger layover and uninsured losses that relates to lost and damaged baggage. The airline paid a sum of GBP 11.364 million the period of 2017-21.
Deliberating over the embarrassing disappearances of flight stewards and air hostesses in Canada; the Committee stressed the need for stringent action against perpetrators. Regarding KIBOR being charged by CAA; the Committee stressed the need to review this pattern and facilitate airlines to usher in more business.