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Fri 3 Jul 2020 09:50 AM

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UAE to seek verification of Pakistani pilots, engineers

On June 26, Pakistan grounded 262 pilots on suspicion that they may have falsified their examinations to qualify for flying aircraft

UAE to seek verification of Pakistani pilots, engineers

The UAE plans to verify the credentials of Pakistani pilots and engineers working in its aviation sector after Pakistan grounded over 250 pilots for holding “dubious” qualifications, authorities have announced. 

On June 26, Pakistan grounded 262 pilots on suspicion that they may have falsified their examinations to qualify for flying aircraft.

The pilots form a significant number of Pakistan’s total of 860 pilots, including 141 working for Pakistan International Airline (PIA).

According to a June 29 letter seen by Reuters, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority director general Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi has requested the verification of Pakistani pilots, maintenance engineers and operations officers.

“We would like to request your good offices to verify the licensing credentials of the attached pilots list who are currently holding UAE’s pilot’s licenses based on licenses and qualifications issued by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority,” the letter was quoted as saying.

The move was onfirmed by a statement in the UAE's state-run WAM news agency. 

"The GCAA has reviewed all its records for Pakistani issued licenses to ensure no suspicious licenses issued by the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has entered its system," WAM reported. "The GCAA is currently in consultation with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, and requested for more information in order to take further safety measures if needed."

Earlier this week, the European Union’s Air Safety Agency (EASA) suspended PIA’s authorisation to fly in the Union for six months as a result of concerns over their licensing.

In a statement, the Pakistan Airlines Pilots Association said that the claims over its license was a government bid to slash the headcount of pilots.

“The malicious efforts of some at the helm of affairs with a mindset to cut the pilots down to size has resulted in PIA being reduced to an airline on paper,” the union said.

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