On March 18, 2022 (Friday), a Gulf Air Airbus A321-231 narrowly escaped a major disaster at Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore due to the Air Traffic Controller’s (ATC) alertness.
According to the details, Gulf Air’s flight GF-764, coming from Bahrain (BAH) to Lahore (LHE), was approaching for landing on an under-construction runway of the airport when the ATC staff alerted the pilot and guided him to the safe landing.
Due to their professionalism and alertness, Approach Controller Faizan Liaquat & Aerodrome Controller Muhammad Usman, of Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore have saved hundreds of lives onboard.
Baaghi TV has learnt that the Gulf Air pilot was intervened by the ATC and directed to immediate abort the landing and advised to “go around” when the aircraft was just less than 500 feet from touch down. The runway 18 has been closed down for repair work.
Following the directive, the pilot took the plane to further height and after “go round” he landed the plane safely at runway right 18 (18R).
On 18.03.22, Gulf Air Flight GFA.764, was directed to pull up & go around, just 500 feet from touch down, while landing on under construction runway at Lahore Airport, the controller observed that the Aircraft is deviating from its flight path during its final approach. pic.twitter.com/eSofL2X5Ra
— Nabeel Javed (Lawyer) (@transparentlit1) March 20, 2022
It is pertinent to mention here that the main runway of Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport has been temporarily closed for almost one and a half years due to maintenance and repair. Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced the closure of the runway from October 9, 2020, to February 21, 2022 for the reconstruction and up-gradation work.
It is important to note that Lahore airport’s main runway 18L/36R has Category IIIB Instrument Landing System that guides aircraft to land which has been shut down due to maintenance.
Nepotism, corruption and mismanagement continues to engulf the CAA. Many believe that favouritism and nepotism has ruined the performance of the authority risking lives of hundreds of thousands of passengers.
Unfortunately, the only criteria for appointment or promotion in the CAA is to have sufficient strings to pull, or a close relative/friend in authority.
Transparency and discipline must be enforced within the CAA and other regulatory agencies. The Government of Pakistan should take action against the authorities who are responsible for the damage and review the current organisational setup of the recruiting body.
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