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68pc pilots cleared in scrutiny

RAWALPINDI: More than 68pc of civilian pilots have been cleared for flying, but 82 pilots will either face cancellation of licences or suspension for a year over minor misconduct in their exams.

Out of the 262 pilots who were suspected to possess doubtful licences, 180 have been declared ‘qualified to fly’ by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The Aviation Division submitted an inquiry report to the Cabinet Division on Tuesday.

Earlier, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had told the National Assembly that 262 pilots had not taken the aviation exam themselves, alleging that they had paid someone else to take the exam on their behalf.

Following this, out of the 860 active pilots serving in domestic and international airlines, 262 were grounded and inquiries were initiated against them.

A five-member committee had been constituted by the Aviation Division to investigate the cases of the pilots and scrutinise their credentials. The committee determined that 180 of the 260 pilots being investigated were qualified to fly while the remaining 82 were expected to face suspension of one year or cancellation of licences.

A senior official from the division said 32 out of the 82 pilots will be facing one year’s suspension because they had a commercial pilot licence (CPL) but had appeared in the Airlines Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) exam and used unfair means in it.

As many as 28 pilots have already been suspended by approval of the cabinet though six of them obtained a court stay order, while licences of 22 pilots will be cancelled as their licences were found to be suspicious.

Following the Supreme Court’s order, the CAA had decided to opt for a policy of no tolerance against anyone who was found involved in the pilot exam scandal.

On July 21, the SC directed the CAA to immediately complete an inquiry against the pilots who possessed ‘dubious’ licences.

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