EU Declines to Lift Ban on Pakistani Airlines, Including PIA

News Desk2 days ago

In a recent meeting, the European Union (EU) determined that there was no justification for changing the list of airlines that are currently prohibited from operating within the Union, which includes Pakistani airlines. This judgement follows an extensive review by the EU Air Safety Committee, which included sample evaluations of Pakistani air carriers Fly Jinnah and Airblue Ltd. and an on-site inspection of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA).

The PCAA’s role and responsibilities in safety monitoring were the main focus of the on-site inspection, which took place between November 27 and November 30, 2023. Despite the fact that the PCAA was manned by technically qualified people and showed adherence to international safety standards. On the other hand, the on-site assessment team found a number of weaknesses, such as deviations from established protocols, a significant understaffing in the Flight Standards Directorate, and a lack of scrutiny in closing conclusions based on suggested corrective steps rather than actual facts.

Notwithstanding these problems, the airworthiness and personnel licencing and training organizations—which were determined to be suitably staffed—did not reveal any material safety risks. One of the airlines that was evaluated, Fly Jinnah, had its record keeping and findings management systems pointed out as needing work. In a hearing before the EU Air Safety Committee on May 14, 2024, the PCAA provided further details regarding the measures taken to resolve the issues found, in addition to presenting a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) on May 6, 2024.

Fly Jinnah described its present operations and the steps made to correct defects in the quality management system, such as using software tools for different operational tasks and contracting out important tasks to Air Arabia. According to the EU Air Safety Committee’s study, it is crucial to continuously evaluate Pakistan’s safety condition. “Part of this ongoing oversight will be regular technical meetings in Brussels and progress reports from the PCAA,” the EU study stated.

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The Committee further underlined how important it is that the Pakistani government maintain its leadership position and support within the PCAA. The EU has decided not to relax the ban on air carriers from Pakistan for the time being, and it is advising Member States to keep conducting ramp inspections to ensure compliance. The Commission emphasised the importance of upholding international safety standards by cautioning that any disclosure of impending safety issues could spur additional action.

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