Immediate PCR Testing Not Possible For UAE Passengers: DG CAA

Karachi: Director General (DG) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Khaqan Murtaza has clarified that immediate Rapid PCR testing of passengers going to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is not possible, it may take two weeks to resolve the issues.

Speaking to media at the CAA Headquarters, Khaqan Murtaza said that immediate testing facility for Rapid PCR is not possible due to passenger overload in the UAE-bound flights. DG CAA said that it was the job of the airlines to select laboratories for Rapid PCR tests by the UAE authorities. Pakistani laboratories have ordered PCR rapid test machines for the equipment, which will soon reach Pakistan.

Furthermore, Khaqan Murtaza said that the CAA will provide all possible facilities to the selected laboratories of the airline at all the international airports of the country. Civil Aviation Authority has proposed to the government to provide 50% subsidy in the first phase and 25% subsidy in the second phase of the issuance of commercial pilot license.

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During the press conference, he said that in order to promote tourism in the country, CAA has started the process of upgrading the airports in the northern regions as well as Gwadar. In the first phase of which Skardu Airport is being given the status of an international airport, while a site is being identified for the construction of a new airport in Gilgit, after which the arrival of large aircraft will be possible.

He said that the cases of officials involved in embezzlement of civil aviation lands have been referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal investigation Agency (FIA). The Punjab government’s offer of land from Walton Airport was rejected by the CAA and on the basis of participation, the federal cabinet approved CAA’s proposal.

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“There are several flying clubs at Walton Airport, which have been closed due to the growing population of the city.” According to Khaqan Murtaza, civil aviation is being divided into two parts under the rules and regulations of the International Aviation Organization, which will help improve civil aviation.

He further added that the safety audit of CAA is being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, it will start as soon as the situation improves.

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