Senate Standing Committee on Aviation in its meeting has asked Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to conduct a co-opt investigation with PAF in connection with the incident of collapse of bridge/jetty 5 at New Islamabad International Airport. The Committee asked CAA and PIA to undergo this investigation in addition to the Board of Inquiry who will be completeing its inquiry of the incident by 7 December.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Mushahidullah Khan here at the Parliament House on Thursday and was attended among others by Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Secretary Aviation, Chairman PIA, DG CAA, Chief Metrologist and other officials from PIA, CAA. The Committee expressed serious concerns on the incident and called for a thorough inquiry as well as a proper mechanism for regular maintenance and checking of all the jetties as it concerns life security of passengers and crew. The Committee was told that the board of inquiry is considering the probability of design faults, human error, maintenance issues and communication which resulted in the incident. Senators called for a check whether there is a warranty protection clause in agreement with the company from whom the jetties were bought and to check if these were first hand machinery or used. The Committee was told that after the incident on 9th October all the jetties at all airports across the countries were inspected. The Committee called for an inquiry into the operating staff of the jetties and also about the utility of the trainings abroad which they were given for the purpose.
The Committee also discussed the matter of issues faced by passengers due to the switching of PIA system from SABRE to HIT IT. The Chairman PIA told the Committee that the switch has been done due to the poor terms of the agreement due to which PIA was paying huge money to the US company for very little services. He said that the new software provides better facilities for administration and passengers and will show results in a few months. The Committee sought a comparative report after three months as to whether the number of complaints of passengers from PIA has changed for the better or not.
The matter of smuggling and money laundering through air traffic was also discussed in the meeting. The Committee was told about the standard procedures and new steps being taken to ensure that no one from within the airport is involved in smuggling and money laundering.