O Captain! Is your fearful trip done?


KARACHI – The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has ordered an official inquiry against its Flight Inspector Capt Shafqat Mehmood for violatingt CAA Rules by operating scheduled flights of Airblue as a line pilot.
Mehmood is charged with deliberately violating CAA Rules for monetary gains from Airblue Ltd, liable for a penal sentence under Rule 333 of the CAA Rules 1994.
Pakistan Today has learnt that airline had agreed to hire Mehmood for making illegal flights based on professional nepotism, thereby risking the lives of the passengers.
On January 10, a double bench of the Sindh High Court headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah granted the CAA time for complying with the court’s orders and has summoned its representatives on the 24th.
A former Airblue pilot had moved a constitutional petition No 29/2009, following which the court had directed the Directorate of CAA to hold an inquiry into allegations against the CAA inspector.
The CAA has appointed Works and Development Director Engr Yousaf Kamal as Board of Inquiry President along with General Aviation General Manager Capt Ghazanfar Ali and Human Resources Additional General Manager Latif as co-members to probe the case.
Sources said that the petitioner, Capt Muhammad Nawaz Asim, has already submitted his statement before the Board of Inquiry after he had received an official letter No HQCAA/2779/14/DW-ADM/11 dated January 6 from the CAA.
Asim said that Pakistan is a signatory to all the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) documents.
The CAA Rules, Defence Capability Plan (DCP) Manuals and Flight Inspectors Operations Manual (CAA Doc 624) are consistent with the ICAO documents, and violation of these documents/rules by any person or aviation company is a serious crime punishable under Rule 333 of the CAA Rules 1994.
The CAA is a statutory body responsible for making CAA Rules, and the Directorate of Flight Standards is officially responsible through its flight inspectors to implement these rules and hold any person or company accountable in case of any violation.
Being a public servant, it is illegal for Mehmood to work at a private limited company for salary under Article 22(A) of the Federal Civil Service Laws.
Since early 2007, Mehmood has been working for Airblue as a line pilot against huge salary, which comes under the ambit of Conflict of Interest and violation of CAA Doc 624.
The unlawful deployment of Mehmood at a private airline is in clear violation of CAA Rule 197(II) c, and inconsistent with ICAO Doc 8335.
Mehmood had planned his own deployment, and given P2 status to an unqualified pilot (first officer) who was the brother-in-law of former CAA deputy director general AVM Safdar Malik.
By favouring an unqualified first officer, Mehmood manoeuvred his own deployment to gain illegal remuneration.
His deployment at Airblue is a professional breach, which led to the Margalla incident because he had compromised on flight standards.
According to the procedures mentioned in the CAA-approved DCP Manual, a CAA inspector is not necessarily required on board when the airline has a CAA-approved DCP-A or DCP-B.
However, Mehmood has been ensuring that he is on board on every check flight for making TA/DA in clear violation of his official CAA duties.