Islamabad December 23 2021: Meeting of the Senate Sub-committee on Aviation met yesterday under the convener ship of Senator Saleem Mandviwalla to review and discuss amendments needed in the Civil Aviation Rules, 1994 and The National Aviation Policy, 2019 at the Parliament Lodges.
The Committee first took up the proposed amendments by the Ministry on the National Aviation Policy, 2019. The Convener Committee directed the Ministry to provide a tabulated comparison between the existing and the proposed policies and reasons for the required amendments.
The committee was briefed that the National Aviation Policy Proposed to make amendments in the existing Air Traffic Rights and Air Service Agreements to restrain the foreign barriers to run indirect flights. The stakeholders grieved that the amendment will cause loss to the Regular Public Transport (RPT) operators. The Ministry was of the view that 53pc of the market is being neglected on account of indirect flights due to non-clearance from the respective countries. The Ministry apprised the committee that hopefully the European Commission will announce the clearance in its next meeting
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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Member National Assembly lamented the fact that the National Aviation Policy does not support the Regular Public Transport(RPT), “if there are no RPT’s operators there is no Civil Aviation”, he stated while showing demise on the poor policies for the RPT’s. “Pakistan Civil Aviation find ways to put you on ground rather than to make flying easier” he further said. The Committee unanimously decided to include a separate chapter of the Regular Public Transport operators which the committee believed is the most critical inclusion to the National Aviation Policy. The present propositions are a mere manual or administrative directive, Khaqan dismayed that the Civil Aviation land is the most expensive land in the country and its customs and MRO’s are impossible. He further said, “Every office requires an RPT, a successful RPT is a successful Aviation”
The stakeholders also put forward reservations while vetting upon the National Aviation Polices 2019.
The representatives of the RPT said that the State Bank of Pakistan also creates hurdles in conducting business with regards to the delays in the approvals for release of payment in the foreign currency. “No corporate entity can own a dollar account” the investors lamented.
The Committee proposed to refer the matter to the Finance Committee to ensure payments to the Civil Aviation. It was also apprised by the Ministry that the foreign equity is allowed to hold a share of 49pc which will keep the business remain in the hands of the local investors. The stakeholders also proposed to inculcate policies related to Ground Aircraft which is essentially missing. The Convener Committee directed to draft proposals on the Ground Aircraft Policies to help obtaining parts in times of crisis. The committee also observed that the taxation policies were also inapplicable. The committee recommended that draft policies should also be shared and approved by the concerned ministries to ensure implementation. It was also recommended that the RPT facilitation proposal prepared by the RPT operators should also be inculcated in the Aviation Policies. The committee recommended to review the worldwide aviation polices in order to make conclusive policies for the country. The stake holders also grieved the delayed process in obtaining the International Licensing even after the completion of the one year required period and thorough monitoring of the Civil Aviation. The ministry informed that the one year period is the stipulated time to obtain the International License and the further delay is from the part of the country the airlines tends to travel. The committee also observed the vague and ambiguous policies for chatter operations. The Ministry emphasized that the foreign entities are not allowed doing chatter operations in the country. The committee also noted that the Aviation Policy did not give any plan for the General Aviation. “To land a private plane in Pakistan is an impossible task” stated Saleem Mandviwalla while dismaying the lack of General Aviation Plan in the Policy. The Committee recommended that every province should have a General Aviation Airport to run the general aircrafts in a smooth and operative manner. It was decided in the committee that the drone Policies in view of the emergence of technology and use of drone in every sector especially for delivery operations should be well drafted under the Civil Aviation Authority. The National Aviation should also introduce policies to promote engineering. The committee also proposed amendment in the license requirement by extending it on the basis of 4 years degree programme rather than diploma after matric or intermediate.
The meeting was attended by Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, Senator Aon Abbas and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi member National Assembly. Representatives from the Civil Aviation Authority and its attached departments were also in attendance.