Record-holder sisters among 34 pilots suspended

By: News Desk      Published: 12:15 AM, 8 Jul, 2020
Record-holder sisters among 34 pilots suspended
Maryam Masood and Erum Masood became the first pair of sisters in Pakistan to fly Boeing-777 airplanes at the same time in 2016. –File photos

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Tuesday notified suspension of the licences of 34 pilots on charges of bogus credentials.

Two sisters among five women whose licences have been suspended are record-holders.

Reportedly, Maryam Masood and Erum Masood became the first pair of sisters in Pakistan to fly Boeing-777 airplanes at the same time in 2016.

According to the notification, the pilots whose licences are suspended include Huma Liaquat, Mahtab Tahir, Farukh Hussain, Syed Mehmood, Moavia Muhammad, Babar Durani, Asim Aziz, Fayyazur Rehman, Farukh Azam, Syed Muhsin, Majid Wasim, Kamran Asghar, Syed Hyder, Amir Mehmood, Faisal Mehmood, Atif Muneer, Hamad Ahmad, Jahanzeb Khan and Hamza Amin.

For a couple of months, the CAA has been in action against alleged fake pilots in the wake of May 22 plane crash in Karachi while the opposition ‘smelt a rat’. 

The dubious degrees of pilots drew global attention on June 24 when Federal Minister Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan presented the plane tragedy report to the parliament, saying that almost 40 per cent of the pilots in Pakistan had fake licences.

Of 860 pilots registered with CAA, 262 had manipulated their professional exam results by impersonating, the minister said.

The minister said 121 had impersonated for one paper, 39 for two, 21 for three, 15 for four  and 11 for five papers, while 34 pilots had manipulated in the exams for all eight papers.

He vowed to ‘bring reforms to the national airline through the ongoing ‘cleanup’ operation while the opposition 'cried foul'. 

Last week, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said the government ‘crashed’ the national airline over degrees and certificates of pilots.

“The world is calling it ‘degree-gate’. The national assets are being sold. The Roosevelt Hotel, a profitable asset in PPP rule, is being sold at a nominal price,” the former Pakistani ambassador to the US said the same day when the cabinet body took up privatisation of the hotel.