PAC comes down hard on CAA over irregularities in new Islamabad airport, PIA


ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday put the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials on the mat over irregularities in the construction of the new Islamabad International Airport and five aircraft belonging to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) that have been recently grounded.
PAC Chairman Khursheed Shah, who is also the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, asked how PIA was obtaining aircraft on lease while five of its existing planes remained grounded. Responding to the question, the aviation secretary informed the committee that a Boeing 777 had been grounded due to the unavailability of its engine. However, the engine has since been acquired and the plane will likely begin operations by the end of this month, he said. Another aircraft, an A-320, will also be functional by December 15 after replacement engines arrive, he added.
Pakistan People’s Party Senator Sherry Rehman asked what was being done about losses to the tune of Rs1 billion incurred following the closure of PIA’s ‘Premier’ service. She also asked why parking contracts for the airports were being outsourced and whether current employees would lose their jobs because of the decision. To this, the aviation secretary said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was looking into the shuttering of the Premier service and clarified that outsourcing parking contracts was a standard procedure across the globe and that no employee would be laid off in the process.
Audit officials later informed the committee that a contract worth Rs660 million for a dam near the new Islamabad airport was given to an unqualified contractor who submitted fake documents and was not even registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Arif Alvi asked how a party with no experience in building dams was given the contract.
PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood observed that the construction of the new Islamabad airport was being constantly delayed and scandals around it were gradually coming forward. “Has a case been registered against anyone or has anyone been punished?” he asked.
The CAA officials said that the airport was a greenfield project for which they had no expertise, which had caused problems. However, they assured that it would be made operational and was just awaiting a Metro Bus route and a baggage handling system. The Metro Bus route will be operational by December 25, the committee was informed.
Khursheed Shah then asked why a metro route was being extended to the new airport. “Will the passengers come to the airport in metro buses or in cars?” Shah asked.
The PAC subsequently called for a report on the irregularities in the construction of the dam, to be submitted in three months after investigation by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The PAC also ordered an enquiry over irregularities in the construction of the baggage terminal at the airport last month.


  1. Exactly people gonna come by cars not by metro….. Instead of metro they urgently needed to build Rawalpindi bypass ring Rd which should have been function with the airport…..Once operational approach from GT road to new Islamabad airport will be pretty much pathetic!!!!!!!

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