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PK8303 Air Crash Preliminary Investigation Report Made Public

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ISLAMABAD– A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Spokesperson in response to the preliminary investigation report shared in the parliament by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan Wednesday on the events of PK8303 of May 22, 2020 resulting in the loss of 97 lives, acknowledged the findings of the report and reaffirmed PIA’s resolve for further improving safety standards within the company using the findings of the report as guiding beacons.

He said that the management has already set into motion an additional series of corrective measures for process improvement.

He further briefed that the events of investigations into dubious licenses issued by the aviation regulator in the country were highlighted itself by the national flag carrier in the aftermath of the incident in Panjgur that occurred in November 2018 where an ATR skidded off the runway, using the same hot and high approach and then making some elementary level mistakes.

That prompted an inquiry into the pilot’s credentials which were found to be dubious. The same was reported to the regulator and PIA requested Government of Pakistan to constitute a high level inquiry into the matter which the Aviation Minister ordered immediately. A thorough forensic audit was conducted into the licenses of all the pilots obtained within the country.

PIA management continuously followed up for expediting the inquiry process and highest executive office of the country also intervened. Meanwhile PIA tracked another 15 such pilots and all of them were grounded pending clearance from the inquiry board. That did cost PIA 175-200 million in terms of salaries of such pilots, not to mention additional perks and privileges; however the decision was not to compromise on flight safety.

The PIA Spokesperson said that based on our internal assessment of the situation consequent to this tragic event, PIA will be making additional recommendations to the regulatory authority for further process improvement which is the order of the day, saying that the regulator would be needed to firm up and bring about zero-tolerance towards misdemeanors in the grant and checking of licenses.

Meanwhile PIA has now written to CAA Pakistan to urgently provide the list of other licenses found to be dubious and despite the number of such pilots and its adverse impact onto PIA’s flight, all of them will be indefinitely grounded pending outcome of inquiries against them, constituted by the Government of Pakistan.

Those found at fault will be terminated from service after following a due process. He reiterated that some of our flights may be cancelled consequently but safety takes precedence over commercial interests and only pilots with impeccable service records and clear credentials will operate the flights.

He said meanwhile, in order to ensure that safety is never compromised again, effectively immediately a Flight Data Monitoring Unit has been established through which now PIA will itself measure, analyze and identify trends of our flights network-wide for corrective or preventive measures based on international established commercial aviation standards. This unit will be headed by a senior Captain having no affiliation with any association and will undertake the tasks diligently and independently.

The spokesperson further reiterated that for PIA safety comes first, PIA is a socially responsible company geared for national service that had been a leader and pioneer in the aviation industry globally. Even after the aforementioned report and on the certificates issued to PIA by International Safety Agencies and monitors, it is established that PIA’s maintenance and operational safety standards are at par with any international player.

PIA’s operational clearances to operate to a number of international destinations are only issued when the adherence to these flight safety standards are met.— PRESS RELEASE