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Event Title: Senator Saleem Mandviwalla Convener Sub-Committee of The Senate Standing Committee on Aviation Presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2023-06-09

The Senate Sub-Committee on Aviation, chaired by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla, has successfully concluded its proceedings on the issue of alleged fake pilot licenses. The committee convened to examine and analyze the matter, aiming to find a resolution that upholds the integrity of the aviation sector and safeguards the future of affected pilots.

During the discussions, the Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reiterated that the CAA has administrative powers and is not involved in any criminal actions. Following the directions of the Cabinet Division and the Supreme Court, the CAA wrote a letter to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to initiate appropriate action.

The Director-General stressed the importance of fixing a time limit for canceled licenses. The CAA is currently amending its rules, and a summary will be presented to the Cabinet for approval. It was clarified that the licenses of pilots were canceled by the Cabinet Division and not by the CAA, he underlined. Pilots without any FIRs against them will be cleared, he added.

Senator Mandviwalla emphasized the urgent need for a swift resolution to protect the affected pilots, as their future hangs in the balance. He highlighted that the court is awaiting the findings and report of the committee, urging a prompt solution to the issue. Furthermore, he expressed concern over the negative impact this matter is having on the country's reputation and the national carrier.

The representative from FIA stated that they cannot withdraw cases against the accused license holders. Senator Mandviwalla called for granting relief to innocent license holders, urging the FIA to persuade those who have obtained court stays to withdraw them.

Member National Assembly, Mr Nazir pointed out that even student pilots without licenses, who have not yet flown, have been entangled in the controversy. The Committee recommended separating the case of student pilots from the alleged fake license holders for a fair assessment.

After thorough deliberation, the Senate Sub-Committee on Aviation, which was tasked with examining and recommending solutions to issues regarding pilot licenses, has put forth some recommendations:

—The FIA should present additional/final charges in the FIRs filed against pilots and inform the court that no criminal wrongdoing was discovered on the part of the pilots. However, FIRs should be maintained against CAA employees mentioned in the complaint forwarded to the FIA, who may face prosecution if deemed appropriate.

—Pilots holding Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL) but accused of fraudulent activities during their license examinations should undergo a reevaluation. Failure to comply with the reexamination process within one year may result in the revocation of their licenses.

—Pilots possessing valid lower licenses (CPL and Private Pilot License) who have been accused of attempting to cheat in examinations for higher licenses will be granted their lower licenses, which will be fully operational once their names are removed from the FIRs.

The Sub-Committee on Aviation remained steadfast in its commitment to restoring public trust, preserving the credibility of the aviation sector, and safeguarding the interests of passengers and crew members. The Committee worked diligently to address the issue of fake pilots' licenses and implement effective measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.