The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Aviation was held on Thursday at the Parliament Lodges. 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 Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Aon Abbas Senator Afnan Ullah Khan. Senator Keshoo Bai, Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi and Senator Naseeb Ullah Bazai attended as movers of motions and petitions referred to the Committee for review along with senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation.
Matters taken up by the Committee included matters pertaining to posting of incumbent of DG Civil Aviation Authority during the last 15 years; details of emoluments and that of personal staff. Other issues entailed closure of PIA booking issue in Hyderabad; bird collision during takeoff and landing and reasons for delayed international PIA flights.
Regarding posting of incumbent of DG Civil Aviation Authority during the last 15 years; the Committee was informed that the posting was in line with the rules and regulations. The Committee, raised questions regarding other options and the reasons for these not being exhausted. The Committee was of the view that process of advertisement for DG CAA should be adopted instead of getting it approved from the Cabinet. The Committee reviewed details of emoluments and personal staff as well.
Regarding closure of PIA booking office in Hyderabad the Committee was informed that the office was shut down as a result of a cost cutting move. PIA management is working towards establishing a smart office in Hyderabad in order to facilitate the people of the city and surrounding areas. This office should be operative within a month.
Reviewing the issue of bird collision during takeoff and landing the Committee was of the view that international best practices must be adopted in this regard. The Committee was informed that a forum to deal with the issue has been formulated that has on board base commanders from all over the country. Follow-ups on measures taken is carried out regularly. Section 144 has been imposed in in coordination with local administration to impose ban on dumping, pigeon homing and use of laser beams in areas around airports.
Discussing procurement of services on account of development of indigenous IFE solutions resulting in a dubious financial deal; the Committee was informed that in view of certain discrepancies with respect to technical soundness of the lowest bidder the i.e. M/S Avionic Solution, the whole tendering process has been rolled back.
Reviewing the reasons for delayed international PIA flights the Committee was informed that in the past two months 60 percent delay in international flights has been observed. In addition to this there have been issues related to immigration during which passengers have been offloaded from flights. FIA has been taken on board in this regard and they have agreed to come up with a policy to mitigate the issues at the earliest. The Committee has summoned FIA in the next meeting to discuss details.