Safety record: UK reluctant to allow PIA’s return to British isles

Expresses dissatisfaction over steps taken by the Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure safe flights
Oct 09, 2022

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will have to wait a while longer before it can fly to the British isles again after UK refused to lift a ban on flights of the national flag carrier.

The Air Safety Unit of the British Department of Transport (BDT) has written to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to convey its continuing concerns over measures taken for flight dependability.

The BDT expressed its dissatisfaction over steps taken by the Pakistan CAA to ensure flight standards, safety, and security.

Read: Flight ban: European aviation commission agrees to meet with CAA this month

The audit of CAA was clear but its score was lower when compared with the one obtained in 2011 – reflecting a drop in regulatory standards.

CAA progress, including licensing, developments in aviation laws, and concerns over flight safety, remain, it wrote.

The letter added that the CAA had not provided any evidence of progress in the 2020 system.

While the CAA spokesperson expressed hope, saying that the European Commission’s representative will visit Pakistan in the first quarter of 2023 and expected that all hindrances will be removed during the visit, subsequently PIA’s operations in the UK would resume.

In January this year, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had refused to lift the ban imposed on the PIA to travel to European countries and the UK on the basis of the audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The EASA had suspended the authorization for Pakistani airlines to operate in Europe first for six months and then indefinitely in the wake of PIA’s PK8303 crashing in Karachi two years ago and the subsequent announcement by then aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan of the grounding of 262 airline pilots suspected of dodging their exams.

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