Threat of Omani airspace ban looms over PIA

Islamabad: A threat of a ban on Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flights in the airspace of Oman looms large as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) assured them that credentials of all pilots had been scrutinised to ensure flight safety, a media report said.

While expressing concern over the recent safety issue with the PIA, the Omani Civil Aviation Authority warned Pakistan that the national flag carrier could be barred from using its airspace, the Dawn news report said on Tuesday citing informed sources.

The sources added that the Omani authorities also asked Islamabad to explain what curative measures had been taken to ensure safety of flights.

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The Pakistan CAA explained to the Omani Civil Aviation Authority that credentials of all pilots, who were allowed to fly, had been scrutinised before they had been declared fit to fly, they said.

The Omani authorities were further informed that the scrutiny of pilots was initiated by the Pakistani authorities on the directive of the Supreme Court of Pakistan a couple of years ago, the sources explained.

Amid the aviation crisis, seven other countries where Pakistani pilots had been employed with different airlines had asked Islamabad to verify their credentials.

The issue of ‘dubious’ licences drew world attention after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan revealed in the National Assembly that there were 860 active pilots in the country and 260 pilots had not sat their exams themselves and almost 30 per cent of the pilots had fake or improper licence and did not have flying experience, Dawn news reported.

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