Pakistan’s transport industries must offer citizens safe and reliable transportation within the country’s geographical boundaries and beyond.

All civilian airports were built far away from residential areas and were usually located in cantonment areas, which until the late ’70s were free from commercial activities, housing societies, plazas, and marriage halls, etc. Unfortunately, today, all these airports experience frequent bird hazards which pose a threat to any aircraft especially in the initial stages of take-off or approach. I shudder to think of the catastrophic loss of human life not just to those aboard, but also those residing in the housing societies that have mushroomed on the periphery of all our civil airports.

ICAO regulations recommend that a fifteen kilometre sterile zone, with height restrictions, must exist around every airport, a clear violation of which can be observed within our society. Recently, an aircraft crashed into a residential area within Karachi, short of a few hundred metres of the landing strip. The primary reason for the catastrophic event has still not been determined. An investigation is currently underway and will hopefully present findings with solutions to avoid such a tragedy.

Rapid technological advances in commercial aviation demand that airlines recruit the best available talent within the country. No state or private-owned enterprise is subject to the oversight experienced within commercial aviation, which is why it is important that those at the helm must be qualified and highly experienced to deal with any situation presented to them. Commercial airlines must operate strictly to the satisfaction of paying passengers and abide by all ICAO regulations, as commercial aviation can be very drastically an unforgiving business.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.