Scandal just won’t leave the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) alone. After allegations regarding fraudulent licenses of some pilots were brought forth, the CAA has had to bear multiple clarifications, reassurances and court cases.

The issue taken up by the IHC now is that of the government’s inability to appoint a permanent director general of the CAA. The position of the DG CAA has now been held vacant for two years, with the Secretary Aviation Hassan Nasir Jamy acting as the DG. The IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued a notice to the attorney general and sought explanation to why the government had not bothered to fill the post of the CAA DG yet no satisfactory reasons for this inordinate delay were given.

The Court is right that this case exemplifies mismanagement. The explanations given by the government, that they published advertisements in the newspapers twice as per the process, but a suitable person could not be identified for the post, are not justifiable. Moreover, it appears that even the first initiative of the process, of publication of advertisements, was not followed through.

While this issue on its own reveals the incompetence of the CAA, when viewed in light of the whole fiasco and the rock bottom that our aviation industry has hit on the international stage, it appears much worse. It is unforgivable that when one of the biggest scandals of our aviation industry hit, there was no permanent DG, and this appointment still has not been made.

This must be resolved urgently, not just to mitigate the damage of the controversy, but also because if the government is serious about its initiative on bifurcating the CAA, it needs to make such appointments timely. Two separate authorities, under a segregated CAA, would require double the number of appointments of the members of the board—if the government continues its practice of delays and inefficiency, the new model of the CAA could fall victim to past mistakes.