The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crash in May that killed 97 out of 99 people on board remains fresh in our memories. An initial report says it had been thanks to human error by the pilot and traffic control. Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said the pilots were distracted discussing coronavirus and as a result, the pilot initially did not perform the landing correctly when the plane scraped at the runway the primary time before beginning again. In another shocking “revelation”, the aviation minister said that 262 pilots out of 860 active ones in Pakistan have “fake licenses” which he later changed to dubious or suspicious licences. It not only made international headlines but as a result, PIA grounded 141 pilots while there are also reports of Pakistani pilots in Vietnam and a few Gulf countries being grounded, subject to a review.
On the opposite hand, Pakistan Airline Pilots’ Association (PALPA) on Saturday denied these allegations. Head of the pilots’ union said there’s no truth in these allegations. consistent with an in depth report in BBC Urdu, the claim by the aviation minister is wrong and therefore the number of pilots with dubious credentials isn’t as high. The minister later conceded his original stance. The report explains that the examination process, which makes for about 5 per cent of the licensing process, changed in 2012. Before 2012, pilots had to offer two papers but a replacement model of examination was introduced by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which now requires pilots to require eight papers, mostly theoretical. It did cause some pilots failing the exams as they were quite complicated or they didn’t get a correct understanding of the scope of exams.
While many cleared the new examination process, some couldn’t , so an environment evolved where it had been made easy for pilots to cheat and a few eagerly resorted to cheating, including making others sit in their place to clear the exams for a couple of hundred thousand rupees. it’s said that while pilots round the world get their commercial licences after being tested for his or her technical know-how and flying hours also as a basic examination process, Pakistan’s new examination process was thought to be cumbersome for many of the pilots since it had been laid call at how that wasn’t clear to those that were taking it.
This is a case of ethical dilemma also as using unfair means. Being a pilot is one among the key jobs where there are extremely high expectations of ethical obligation and trust. Cheating can’t be condoned at any cost nor the concept of facilitation of such unfair means. All pilots must be investigated properly and if they need resorted to shortcuts, they need to be punished. That said, if the amount is marginal compared to the minister’s claim, a clarification must be issued to clear the names of Pakistani pilots. Some complain that the CAA’s role within the entire process raises some red flags.
We cannot stress enough about air safety. many lives are at stake whenever a plane flies . The Aviation Ministry, CAA and airlines must investigate thoroughly and make their findings public. Any such inquiry must involve international stakeholders to feature credibility to an embattled CAA whose own credibility is additionally on the road . Pilots and their bodies also got to initiate a radical , inward-looking review process that builds trust in their own profession and shows that they’re not on the incorrect side of the talk .