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Civil Aviation Regulation

What’s at Stake

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the national civil aviation regulatory authority. In order to function effectively a regulatory authority must be independent of the Government and, more importantly, the industry it regulates. The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority Ordinance provides that “the general management and administration of the Authority and its affairs shall vest in a Board.” The Ordinance states that the Board is to include, inter alia, the Managing Director of PIA i.e. an entity that is to be regulated by CAA itself. The Ordinance provides for the Board to consist of four Government Secretaries amongst others. It is a matter of concern whether a disaster such as a plane crash of the national flag carrier would be inquired into freely, fairly and openly by the civil aviation regulator when members of the Federal Government, including the airline whose affairs it is inquiring into are all members of its Board. There is a conflict of interest if the Federal Government, and more alarmingly, PIA itself, are involved in any aviation accident inquiries into essentially their own affairs.

Current Status

PILAP has written an RTI application to the Aviation Division inquiring into the reasoning behind the Managing Director of PIA being a Board member of CAA and how this guarantees the independence of the regulated from the regulator; measures taken by the Federal Government to consider removing the Managing Director of one of the regulated entities from the Board; the justification for having four Government Secretaries on the CAA Board.

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