Pilots warn of stopping PIA flights if unsafe environment persists

Zeeshan Baz

Zeeshan Baz has collected the information that:

KARACHI: Flights schedule of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) may get disturbed as pilots have warned they will stop flights if an unsafe working environment persists.

The pilots and cabin crew have been forced to compromise flight safety, spokesman of Pakistan Air Line Pilots Association (PALPA) said on Monday. He added that the pilots had adopted a resolution to strictly follow safety procedures after Hajj operations in the greater interest of passengers.

The spokesman said Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) a year ago issued Air Navigation Order and prescribed the flying times of pilots and cabin crew, which were against the standards. However, this order was in abeyance on the protest of stakeholders.

The spokesman further said working hours could be extended of any pilot in case of an emergency but it was rare. “The present management has forced the pilots and cabin crew to work extended hours as routine working hours ignoring the world standards and safety of passengers.”

Earlier, the PALPA in a statement said, “Due to the deteriorating working conditions and deliberate compromise on flight safety, on the part of the PIACL management; the PIACL pilots’ fraternity by virtue of their sensitive nature of job, will not work against PCAA and ICAO Safety Rules, after post Hajj Operations.”

The PALPA statement further added: “In case of any mishap, PIACL management will be held responsible.” The resolution was passed in a general body meeting, attended by a very large number of pilots.

The meeting was especially convened after numerous letters went unheeded. “The management unfortunately continued to ignore these requests.” After long deliberation, it was considered appropriate that the pilot would not board the flight if all safety regulations were not strictly followed.

“PCAA rules are based on UN (ICAO) flight safety rules and its deviation by PCAA would not be tolerated in other countries if noticed; PIA flights can be banned,” the PALPA statement said. The PIAC management has to follow all safety procedures in the best interest of the passengers and the airline.

Spot checking of pilots was part of safety monitoring in UN member countries. So it was the concern of PALPA that rules violations would not be in the interest of airline on the pretext of cost cutting measures. Moreover, recently introduced changes in Flight Duty Time Limitation FDTL planning which carry a very high element of fatigue, were against the safety rules.

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