LAHORE: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has suspended licenses of 34 more pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspected of holding fake degrees.
According to a notification issued by the aviation authority, licenses will remain suspended till the inquiry against the pilots has not been completed.
Separately, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Tuesday ordered its member states to bar Pakistani pilots from working.
EASA has asked its member countries for details of Pakistani pilots. The letter sent to the member states by EASA stated that the CAA has revealed irregularities in the issuance of 40% of licences.
Moreover, EASA in its letter recommended member states ‘not to schedule such pilots for operations performed under their TCO consideration’.
The letter stated that this is a matter of concern in the aviation industry. It further stated that complaints have been received about fake licences in contravention of international rules and regulations.
Last month, Pakistan said it would ground 262 airline pilots whose credentials may have been falsified after global airlines body International Air Transport Association said that irregularities found in pilot licences at PIA represent a “serious lapse” in safety controls.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, while presenting an initial investigation report into the PIA plane crash in which 97 people had been killed, had said 40% of the country’s pilots held “dubious licenses”.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has also suspended PIA’s authorisation to fly to the bloc for six months.
Malaysia and Vietnam have also temporarily suspended pilots who hold Pakistani licenses and have been employed by their domestic airlines. The United Arab Emirates has requested Pakistan to verify the licenses of the personnel working in the oil-producing country’s airports — pilots, maintenance engineers and flight operations officers.
The UAE had also demanded that Pakistan clarify which of the personnel had fake licenses and who were suspects.