RAWALPINDI: As the process of scrutiny and verification of pilots’ licences continues, the Aviation Division on Monday suspended 68 more pilots, taking the total number of pilots suspended in recent weeks to 161.

Of the 262 holders of dubious licences, the licences of 28 pilots have already been cancelled while 161 pilots have been suspended so far. The decision about the remaining 73 pilots is expected within the next two days as the aviation division says it is taking all measures/decisions after a “double check”.

The government will present a report on Tuesday (today) before the Supreme Court on measures being taken for the safety of air travellers after federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan announced in the National Assembly that the licences of as many as 262 Pakistani pilots were dubious.

However, contrary to the aviation minister’s claim, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority recently declared that all commercial/airline transport pilots licences (CPL/ATPL) issued “are genuine and validly issued” and none of the pilot licences were fake.

Decision on remaining 73 of total 262 pilots expected soon

A total of 262 pilots, including 107 working with the national flag carrier, were earlier grounded on a government directive.

Spokesman for the Aviation Division said that all the Pakistani pilots flying on international or domestic routes had been cleared and well experienced.

“Our top priority is public safety and we can’t compromise on it in any case,” he said, adding that all measures were being taken to ensure the safety in line with the government’s directives.

He said the entire process of scrutiny and validation of licences was being done after a double-check and disciplinary action was being closely monitored and supervised by federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan himself.

Earlier, the flying licences of 28 pilots, including seven workings with Pakistan International Airlines, were cancelled. Among the seven PIA pilots was a female cabin crew member. “She was among the 28 pilots whose licences had been cancelled. She was unable to justify her exam when she appeared before the inquiry team,” an aviation official said.