UN’s ICAO Advises Suspension of New Pilot Licenses

The UN aviation agency, ICAO advised Pakistan to suspend the issuance of new pilot licenses after the country initiated an investigation into false licenses.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized aviation agency of the United Nations works towards the safety of international air transport advised Pakistan to undertake “immediate corrective actions” and to suspend the issuance of new pilot licenses in light of the recent scandals.

The recommendations came due to the investigation that was taking place after 50 Pakistani pilots, with the help of 5 aviation officials, falsified their licenses and other credentials.

Last week the ICAO issued a letter to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (unreported) stating, “Pakistan should improve and strengthen its licensing system to ensure that it takes into account all necessary processes and procedures and prevents inconsistencies and malpractices before new licenses are issued and privileges of suspended licenses are re-established.”

The ICAO had initially scheduled their audit to examine the aviation safety management systems in Pakistan. The audit was scheduled for November but now has been shifted to June providing the civil aviation authority with more time to work on amelioration.

An official from the aviation ministry in Pakistan affirmed to Reuters that the country has not issued any new licenses since the scandal came forth, back in July. When contacted, the spokesperson of PCAA didn’t respond to comments on the advisory by the ICAO.

The scandal caused the flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to be banned from flying to its destinations in Europe and the USA. This was prompted by air safety complaints of the travellers.

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