In light of disturbing accusations of forgery and cheating amongst licensed pilots in Pakistan, authorities from the United Arab Emirates are now seeking to verify the credentials of the many Pakistani pilots and engineers gainfully employed in the UAE.
UAE Will Launch Pakistani Pilot Probe To Verify Credentials
After the crash of PK8303 killed 97 passengers and crew members plus one person on the ground, Director General of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Hassan Nasir Jamy claimed that a government investigation had discovered that up to 40% of pilots in Pakistan were operating with “fake” licensees.
As we reported earlier in the week, that may not necessarily be a sinister as it sounds, but it has sparked fear across the world. Vietnam and the European Union have banned PIA from its airspace. Meanwhile, the UAE wants to independently verify the credential of every pilot and engineer from Pakistan now working in the UAE.
According to Jamy, 107 of the 860 pilots in Pakistan work for a foreign airline. Per Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority, not only will Pakistani pilots be verified, but also aircraft maintenance engineers and flight operations officers. A letter obtained by Reuters asked:
“We would like to request your good offices to verify the licensing credentials of the attached pilots list who are currently holding UAE’s pilots licenses based on licenses and qualifications issued by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority.”
Politics Complicates Matters
Pakistan has not formally responded to the request. The entire “fake pilot” issue has become a political hot potato in Pakistan, with opposition lawmakers blaming the crash of PK8303 and revelations about pilot credentialing on lax regulatory oversight. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has blamed previous governments for what has now become a national embarrassment. Khan took power in 2018.
I expect other nations which have hired expats from Pakistan to engage in similar checks. For the sake of Pakistan and the many honorable people who work for PIA, I hope the investigation does not reveal more cases of fraud.
Live and Let’s Fly has covered this issue extensively. Be sure to check out our other stories on this topic:
- Pakistan International Airlines 777 Business Class Manchester To New York
- Pakistan International Airlines A320 Crashes, Killing 97 Onboard
- Where The Two Survivors Were Sitting When PIA Airbus A320 Crashed
- Another A320 Scare On Pakistan International Airlines
- Report: Careless Pilots Blamed For PIA A320 Crash
- It’s Time To Blacklist Pakistan International Airlines…
- Exclusive: A “Fake” Pilot From Pakistan International Airlines Speaks Out
- European Union Bans Pakistan International Airlines – Is Canada Next?
image: Steven Byles / Wikimedia Commons