Govt to split CAA into two entities
Following the plane crash that killed 99 people and the fake license debacle that has tarnished Pakistan’s aviation sector, the government is currently mulling over a plan to bifurcate the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) — apex regulatory — into two separate entities.
The plan was shared in a special cabinet committee meeting that discussed the possibility of splitting the CAA into new entities: the Pakistan Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority and the Pakistan Airports Authority.
The special cabinet committee meeting was led by the Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood. The cabinet meetings on proposed reforms to the CAA were also attended by the government’s focal person for the Institutional Reforms Committee Dr. Ishrat Hussain.
A report released by news agency Dawn said a source privy to negotiations said the committee discussed the plan to outsource different airports of the country in a bid to attract private sector investment. These transactions will be carried out by the Privatisation Commission in due time.
The decision to privatise some of the airports comes as data showed only two of the 44 airports in the country are profitable.
The decision to bifurcate the CAA comes at a time when the government has faced sharp criticism over its handling of the “fake pilot” situation and failure to install the requisite checks and balances in its license awarding processes.
Moreover, the revelations made by the Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan that around 30pc of the licenses awarded by the CAA were fake, the country has had to face severe criticism from not only the international aviation regulators but also the media.
In addition, Vietnam and the European Union grounded all Pakistani-origin pilots from their fleets and imposed a ban on the Pakistani airlines entering into the country.
The cabinet committee also proposed several amendments to the CAA laws and ordinances in order to make the authority independent and effective and avoid such mishaps in the future.