Decision to finally utilize enormous revenues generated by CAA Pakistan from travelling public to install ILS Cat3 at Lahore will be beginning of a major overhaul of regulatory body to modernize in terms of technology and manpower recruited to handle technology for ensuring safety of air traffic. Credit for this long awaited decision goes to Special Assistant Aviation who immediately upon reappointment has taken this vital decision. CAA is primarily a regulatory body and therefore steps should be taken so that airports are run by independent boards, along with setting up of an independent Accident Investigation Unit, both not under administrative control of regulatory body.

While decision to induct medium range aircraft, not over seven years old for national airline PIA is technically wise, this alone will not achieve desired revenue generation, unless top management, which has monopolized executive corridors of airline are not sent on forced early retirement, for they are part of problem and therefore cannot have role in solution. It is PIA’s Corporate Planning and Procurement divisions, along with Marketing and Finance who have made previous Business Plans, such as that submitted in 2002 for B777, which failed to achieve declared objectives and targets. Even automated revenue management and reservation systems have been rendered useless by powerful nexus of corrupt PIA executives and few travel agents, leading to fleecing of Umrah and Hajj pilgrims and losses for airline.

As long as mediocrity and corruption dominated executive corridors of PIA, and the rot is not cleaned from the inside revenue pilferage and financial improprieties will continue. Induction of more aircrafts will meet the same fate as did the previous business plan. For starters Special Assistant Aviation should ensure forensic audit and verification of qualifications, age certificates and other data of its paid senior executives, plus a scrutiny of assets accumulated not only in Pakistan, but also abroad, for most of them hold foreign nationalities with average qualifications.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, February 14.