PIA
PIA planes. Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit:

Dubai: Around 40 per cent of the pilots in Pakistan have fake flying licences, said the Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar.

Sarwar revealed the startling news about the ‘fake’ pilots while presenting a provisional inquiry report in the National Assembly of Pakistan about the recent PIA plane crash in Karachi.

“Pakistan has 860 active pilots, which includes PIA, Serene Air and Air Blue pilots as well. The inquiry which was initiated in February 2019 showed that 262 pilots did not give the exam themselves and asked someone else to sit for exam on their behalf,” the minister said. He said they have found out during the investigations that pilots with ‘fake’ licences did not even have proper flying experience. The 40 per cent 'fake' licence holders also include hundreds of pilots who are not 'active flyers.' 

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Sarwar further revealed: “Pilots were also appointed on political basis, unfortunately. Merit was ignored while appointing pilots,” he added. He said that degrees of at least four PIA pilots had also been found to be fake, Pakistan media reported.

He said that an inquiry has been initiated in this regard, and showcause notices have been issued to 54 pilots. “Some of the pilots have also challenged these notices in court. So far, at least nine pilots have confessed to holding fake degrees,” he claimed.

In his provisional report, the minister held pilots and the air control tower responsible for causing the PIA plane crash in Karachi. The PIA flight PK8303, carrying 99 people including eight crew members, crashed into a densely populated residential area near Karachi airport on May 22. Two people survived the crash while 97 passengers lost their lives.