EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns

EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns
EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns
EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns
EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns

EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns

EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns

EU Maintains Ban on Pakistani Air Carriers Citing Safety Concerns

Key Points:

  1. The EU has decided to uphold the ban on Pakistani air carriers, including Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
  2. The decision follows an assessment by the EU Air Safety Committee and an on-site evaluation of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).
  3. The evaluation highlighted deficiencies in oversight and staffing within the PCAA, despite acknowledging adherence to international safety standards.

The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its decision to maintain the ban on Pakistani air carriers, such as Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), following an extensive review process, ARY News reported. This decision emerged after a detailed assessment by the EU Air Safety Committee, which included an on-site evaluation of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) and sample assessments of Pakistani carriers Fly Jinnah and Airblue Ltd.

The on-site evaluation, conducted from November 27 to 30, 2023, primarily examined the PCAA’s oversight responsibilities and effectiveness in ensuring aviation safety. While the PCAA demonstrated a commitment to international safety standards and technical proficiency, the assessment identified several critical deficiencies. These included inadequate scrutiny in closing findings based solely on proposed corrective actions without concrete evidence, procedural deviations, and significant understaffing within the Flight Standards Directorate.

Despite these shortcomings, the assessment did not uncover any major safety concerns related to airworthiness or personnel licensing and training organizations, which were found to be adequately staffed. Fly Jinnah, in particular, was noted for needing improvements in record-keeping and managing findings.

In response to the assessment, the PCAA submitted a comprehensive Corrective Action Plan (CAP) on May 6, 2024, and detailed measures taken to address the identified issues during a subsequent hearing before the EU Air Safety Committee on May 14, 2024. The PCAA has since increased its cadre of qualified inspectors from one to nineteen within the Flight Standards Directorate, established Quality Control sections in each department, and instituted a central Quality Assurance department.

Fly Jinnah also outlined its efforts to enhance operations and rectify flaws in its quality management system, including the use of software tools and outsourcing certain activities to Air Arabia.

The EU Air Safety Committee emphasized the need for continuous monitoring of Pakistan’s safety situation, with plans for regular technical meetings in Brussels and periodic progress reports from the PCAA. The Committee also stressed the importance of sustained support from the Pakistani government and stability in leadership within the PCAA.

For now, the EU maintains the ban on Pakistani air carriers, urging Member States to conduct ramp inspections to verify compliance with safety standards. The Commission warned that any indication of imminent safety risks could lead to further action, underscoring the critical importance of maintaining international safety standards, ARY News reported.

(Inputs from ARY)

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