Pakistan’s Aviation industry eyes revolution as Senate adopts CARs, amendments

Pilot/Operator to determine which countries permit operation for pilots beyond the age of sixty-five years. An exception/difference be filled by PCAA if needed to ICAO.

Senate passed Civil Aviation Rules (CARs) 2022 and amendments in National Aviation Policy (NAP) 2019, and aviation experts believed that it will change the Aviation Industry of Pakistan forever.

Aviation top bosses and policymakers, bureaucracy and senators, and minister of aviation joined their heads in a recent huddle in the Upper House of the Parliament to review the Aviation Rules 1944 and National Aviation Policy 2019 to take the aviation industry to new heights by removing as many hurdles in the way of every single man related to the Aviation industry from aircraft makers to the passengers.

Aviation experts talking to Baaghi TV said that these proposed recommendations that have now been adopted by the Senate in both rules and policy, will really bring a revolution to the aviation industry. The new proposed amendments eye offering incentives to newcomers and one-window-operation for the investors, companies, and passengers at the other end.

The CARs adopted recommendations about relaxing custom rules and taxes, purchase of aircraft parts, developing of aircraft manufacturing industry, aircraft registration fleet size and age, and NOC from the aviation division.

The CARs said suggested that the maximum time for the security clearance should be adopted at 45 days. The new policy also gave recommendations for the guidelines for dry and wet lease of aircraft and for chartered aircraft.

Policy document said that as Pakistan is an ICAO signatory State of Chicago Convention 1944, it is binding on Pakistan to have an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority, this all powers to issue licenses shall rest with the CAA DG.

Pilot Upper Age Limit New Policy?

Pilot/Operator to determine which countries permit operation for pilots beyond the age of sixty-five years. An exception/difference be filled by PCAA if needed to ICAO.

Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal, and Ukraine have no upper age limit for pilots.

55 Countries have an age limit between 62 to 72 years ICAO Annex 1 stipulates the age limit to 65 but that is only a recommendation.

That is the reason 10 countries do not have an upper age limit and 55 have age limits from 62 to 72 years.

A country-wise list where pilots can operate beyond the age of sixty-five and are permitted by their NAA/CAA be updated as and when necessary for the information of pilot/operators.

Rule 40 Sub Rule (a) and (b) can be removed as the requirement.

It proposed that no foreign airline aviation concern or aviation-related party can acquire more than 49 percent of a local airline.

 Senator Hidayat Ullah, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Aviation presided over a meeting of the Committee at parliament lodges Islamabad. Members were briefed on various issues that are currently being faced by the Aviation Sector in Pakistan.

Matters taken up by the Committee included the revival of the matter pertaining to banned flights in the UK and the European Commission, details of appointment and emoluments of DG Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), reasons for Larkana Airport being non-operational, and the closure of PIA ticketing office in Hyderabad.

While discussing the performance, eligibility and emoluments of current DG CAA, Federal Minister for Aviation, Khawaja Saad Rafique was of the view that the designate in question was highly qualified and was managing the position well. His appointment, the Ministry asserted, was according to rules.

Reviewing the matter of immobility of Larkana Airport, the Committee was informed that despite all out efforts by the Ministry to upgrade the airport, no progress could be made due to UNESCO‘s stance of protecting the site that has been declared a World Heritage Site.  The matter was taken to court implying that construction work would damage to Moenjo Daro.  Taking up the issue of closure of the PIA ticketing office in Hyderabad, the Ministry was directed to revisit the matter minutely and create a skeleton office to accommodate residents.

Discussing the measures taken by the Ministry for the resumption of banned flights in the UK and the European Commission, the Committee was told that efforts are being made to ensure this matter is resolved at the earliest. However, procedures take time. The Committee was informed that IASA will be conducting an audit after which representatives of the European Union will visit Pakistan for an overall review.

The report of the sub-Committee of the Committee on Aviation presented by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla in the last meeting will be adopted by the House in the next Session.

The meeting was presided over by Senator Hidayatullah. Members of the Committee who attended were Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla Senator Syed Muhammad Sabir Shah, Senator Faisal Saleem Rehman, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, Senator Atta Ur Rehman, Senator. Senator Saifullah Abro and Senator Keshoo Bai attended as movers of motions and petitions referred to the Committee for review along with senior officers from the Ministry of Aviation.

 Would Allowing Airline Pilots To Fly Until 67 Be a Mistake?

The ‘Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act’ may create more problems than it solves, says a veteran airline pilot.

Older airline pilots experience more medical issues that don’t necessarily challenge their daily lives but may keep them out of the cockpit, says veteran airline pilot Les Abend.

No doubt, the flying public is frustrated with enduring the extraordinary volume of cancellations and flight delays. Mainstream media has certainly shone a spotlight on the situation, giving additional anxiety to those who are still formulating their travel plans.

Fingers have pointed at the “pilot shortage,” as a major factor. In that regard, on July 25, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced the “Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act,” which would increase the mandatory airline pilot retirement age from 65 to 67.

The legislation seems to be a knee-jerk reaction in response to justifiably frustrated constituents. Although the premise of the act is intended as a solution, it may actually create more problems. Why? Setting aside the debate of age 67 being an arbitrary number, older airline pilots experience more medical issues that don’t necessarily challenge their daily lives but may keep them out of the cockpit. Cardiac irregularities, blood pressure, or orthopedic surgeries are examples.

Another challenge to raising the mandatory retirement age is the fact that only about nine other countries allow Part 121 air carrier pilots to fly beyond 65. Although ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) is not a regulatory agency with enforcement capabilities, age 65 is a limit among the many countries that abide by its rules—the U.S. being one of them. This rule does not allow over 65 pilots to fly internationally, which opens a new can of worms.

PIA announces to resume flight operation to Kabul

How? With most U.S. airlines scheduling a blend of international and domestic flights for pilots, changing the trip pairings would be problematic. Carriers had found it more efficient, and thus more economical, to qualify crews for both international and domestic flying, mixing the two categories within a given trip.

Do the airlines now construct separate, domestic-only trip pairings for the over 65 pilots? And with a seniority-based system initiated in the Lindbergh era for all things airline pilot, are the over 65-ers given special bidding privileges because of the international restriction?

Considering the challenges involved, raising the mandatory retirement to age 67 may not even qualify as a Band-Aid, especially if it infects the wound further.