Senate Sub-committee holds meeting on Aviation

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SENATOR SALEEM MANDVIWALLA, CONVENER SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON AVIATION PRESIDING OVER A MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE AT PARLIAMENT LODGES ISLAMABAD ON DECEMBER 23, 2021.

Islamabad, (Parliament Times) : Meeting of the Senate Sub-Committee on Aviation was held under the convener ship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla here at old PIPS hall, parliament lodges Islamabad.

The committee took up the agenda to review and discuss amendments needed in civil aviation rules,1994 and National Aviation policy,2019 in detail.

The Committee was informed by Regular Public Transport (RPT) operators that the Airline operators have to face 2 to 3 years delay in order to get fresh license for Domestic and International flights. The Civil Aviation Authority explained the committee that fresh license for Domestic and International flights are approved by Cabinet and this delay in license is due to clearance from Security Agencies. Senator Afnan Ullah Khan said these Security clearance protocols are the real hindrance in our economy. RPT operators suggested that power to issue fresh license for domestic flights should be given to DG of Civil Aviation and as of International flights power to issue license should be given to Ministry of Civil Aviation Authority. Senator Aon Abbas advised the committee that timeline should also fixed for issuance of license which may not be exceeded from 45 to 60 days and all the concerned ministries should finish their queries till that time.

The RPT operators also conveyed their concerns to committee regarding the cumbersome process they faced in the imports of parts of aircraft. Convener of the committee Senator Saleem Mandviwalla told that this issue is of prime importance and rules should be drawn to provide facilities to RPT operators and not problems. He further said that Customs Authority should accept undertaking from the operators, so that they can imports the parts until the final approval from concerned Authority. Shahid khaqan Abbasi, Member of National Assembly, suggested that the Airports should be declare duty free zone like in Dubai so that operators can import parts of an Aircraft and the parts will remain in airport area.

The committee unanimously lamented the rules regarding the renewal of license. “why do we need renewal of license” Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said.This whole idea of renewal of license is absurd, he added. Khaqan said that if license of an operator is expiring in 2 years then how the operators can acquire an aircraft on lease for 7 years. World is changing and in order to compete with world we should focus on simplifying things, he further added.

The Convener of the Committee Senator Saleem Mandviwalla also showed grave concerns over student license. He said that why students need license approved by CAA. The Civil Aviation Authority should hand over this issue to Private flying schools and the only work of CAA is to monitor private flying schools not students, he added.

On the issue of Private plane license the committee inquired the officials of CAA that why a person does need renewal of license after 5 years. Senator Saleem Mandviwalla said that the validity of license for Private Plane should be subject only to medical fitness and recency of flights.

The Committee lamented the intrusion by FAA Inspector in simulation of Pilots. The Convener of Committee said that the simulation of pilots are in facility which is recognized by Civil Aviation Authority then why do we need inspection from FAA Inspector. The committee also categorically prohibited the fasting of pilots and directed the CAA officials to take this into consideration while amending the rules. The DG of Civil Aviation Authority floated the proposal that two months’ time should be given to the authority to prepare the draft inculcating therein all the amendments proposed by RPT operators for further deliberation by the Committee

The meeting was attended by Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, Senator Aon Abbas and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi member National Assembly. Representatives from Civil Aviation Authority and its attached departments were also in attendance.