The European Union has decided to suspend the operation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) into its borders for six months over its fake pilot licence scandal.
In an official letter, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said that though the PIA claims that it has grounded all pilots that were part of the list of fraudulent licence holders compiled by the Pakistani authorities, it does not mitigate its concern, as there are strong indications that a high number of Pakistani pilot licences are invalid.
“EASA therefore no longer has confidence that Pakistan, as the state of operator, can effectively ensure that operators certified in Pakistan comply at all times with applicable requirement for crew qualification,” in particular with the standards laid down in the Chicago convention.
The agency conveyed its decision to the PIA saying that in accordance to the laws of the European Parliament and Council, the EASA suspends the Third Country Operator (TCO) authorization to PIA which had been issued on May 17, 2016. The suspension comes into effect from July 1, 2020 in all the EU member states.
In its list of reasons for the suspension of the airlines, the EASA cited the fact that despite enough time, the PIA was yet to ensure safety data management, risk assessment and analysis including the statistical analysis and the ability to identify repeated or similar hazards/occurrences.
The EASA said PIA had provided insufficient evidence about the implementation of safety measures and since December 2019 had not been processing its safety reports.
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