The fact that the frequency of vehicular accidents causing the loss of the lives of civilians is toppling the thousand mark should raise alarm bells all over Pakistan. Politicians promise to hold those responsible of criminal negligence accountable but never act upon their word once office is given to them. The issue has now become a source of agony for those who pay to travel safely. Although PIA is far better than other private airlines regulated by CAA, it has witnessed a continuous decline. 

The primary responsibility of regulator such as the CAA is to ensure that all airlines meet standard minimum safety requirements, follow maintenance procedures and have a crew that is medically fit, professionally competent and suffer from no ailments which may adversely impair their reflex action in emergency situations. 

The partial ban imposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency in 2007 on PIA was subsequently withdrawn in November 2007. It was an indictment on CAA because PIA, being the sole airline under the government’s regulatory control was operating into Europe. It was again placed on a blacklist in November 2011 which rendered it vulnerable for prioritised ramp inspection etc. 

It is pertinent to note that the US Air Force is amongst the best well trained and technologically advanced like our own PAF. There exists a separate Safety Board comprising of experts in military aviation, to investigate all incidents or accidents involving aircrafts of various units which are under administrative control of the Pentagon. The regulatory body for commercial aviation in the US is FAA while individual airports are owned and operated by separate entities and are completely independent of each other. 

MALIK TARIQ ALI,  

Lahore, December 11.