PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations expresses concerns over aviation safety in Pakistan

Karachi, May 08, 2012 (PPI-OT): The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) has expressed concerns over aviation safety in Pakistan and asked the President of Pakistan to establish an independent National Transportation Safety Board for thorough, scientific and unbiased investigations into air accidents.

‘There are concerns about the unhealthily close relationship between the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority and the operators (airlines); the lack of an independent National Transportation Safety Board; sanctions being taken against pilots reporting safety related incidents, poor Cockpit Resource Management (CRM) in some companies; and an overburdened Air Traffic Control system that is not just a concern to pilots within Pakistan, but also to those overflying,’ said IFALPA in a letter to the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari.

Captain Don Wykof, President IFALPA, further stressed that ‘the Federation is gravely concerned over some aspects relating to aviation safety that have been brought to our attention by the Pakistan Air Line Pilots’ Association (PALPA) which is our Member Association in your country’.

‘These concerns stem from the recent incidents and accidents in Pakistan including the Air Blue accident in 2010 and the most recent accident of Bhoja Air,’ reasoned IFALPA, which represents more than 100,000 professional pilots in more than 100 countries worldwide and is also one of the few organisations that enjoy the status of an ‘observer’ at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Since IFALPA is currently meeting at its Annual Conference in Paris, President IFALPA said ‘this has given us the opportunity to discuss with the PALPA representatives their concerns about situation in Pakistan; these concerns are multifaceted, and seem to stem from the corrective measures identified as being necessary following the Air Blue accident not being fully implemented’.

Against this background, the IFALPA asked the government of Pakistan to consider implementing some measures that include the establishment, with representation from PALPA and the ATC Guild, of an independent National Transportation Safety Board, responsible for investigating incidents and accidents; and for implementing any corrective action that is necessary.

Moreover, CAA Pakistan be made autonomous and financially and administratively independent body, and not staffed in some key positions by people seconded from the airlines; and the Safety Management Systems implemented by the operators in Pakistan should comply with the ICAO recommendations, particularly with regard to non punitive reporting.

Also, IFALPA asked the government of Pakistan to encourage the establishment of organised pilot groups in all Pakistani airlines as this will enable the pilots to contribute to the establishment of a robust safety culture in their company helped by the extensive expertise in areas such as CRM they can access through IFALPA.

“I am sure that we share a common goal in seeing Pakistan achieving the highest levels of aviation safety; we know that PALPA also share this goal and are fully prepared to engage with the regulator and the operators to move forward in this vital area”, president IFALPA hoped.

For more information, Contact:
Pakistan Air Line Pilots’ Association (PALPA)
ST-31, Block-5 Kehkashan,
Clifton Karachi – 75600,
Telephone: +92-21-35824037, 35868860
Fax: +92-21-35862312
Email: info@palpa.org.pk
Website www.palpa.org.pk