In recent years, Pakistan has been experiencing stable economic growth, stimulated by various government policies. By bringing in the required expertise in shape of Shujaat Azeem and economic wisdom in general, the Government is focusing its efforts on reviving the frail sectors.
One of the most recent examples is the National Aviation Policy 2015. It is the first comprehensive strategy for the development of the country’s civil aviation in 15 years.
As a major contributor to the economy and one of the most challenging sectors, aviation had to wait a long time for the required attention: Shujaat Azeem
The driving force behind the policy was Mr. Shujaat Azeem, whose first initiatives as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Aviation (2013 to 2016) was to lead the consultative process of developing the National Aviation policy.
Mr. Shujaat Azeem has over 30 years of experience in aviation and aviation management.
Shujaat Azeem has been instrumental in developing a comprehensive aviation policy in the country. The policy has been implemented and brought some much-needed changes to air travel in Pakistan.
“The policy initiated major transformation of aviation management in Pakistan. Civil Aviation Authority, PIAC, Airport Security Force and Pakistan Meteorological Department all are being improved as a direct result of the National Aviation Policy 2015.” – Shujaat Azeem
Here are the 4 ways that the Shujaat Azeem, PM’s Special Adviser, claims that air travel has improved in Pakistan as a result of the National Aviation Policy 2015.
Renovated and Modernized Airports Countrywide
The appointment of chief operating officers at airports and outsourcing of major terminal buildings are among the pillars of the policy. Large renovation projects covering Multan International Airport, BBIAP Airport Islamabad and Lahore Airport have already been completed with many others underway.
The buildings of airport terminals and runways have been modernized. New passenger boarding bridges have been added. The construction of the New Islamabad International Airport is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, added Shujaat Azeem.
One of the major policy objectives is the implementation of new technology designed to make airport services more effective and increase the level of safety and security. To achieve this, Shujaat Azeem said, new Doppler VORs and new radars have been installed.
In Shujaat Azeem’s view, the most remarkable achievement and technological innovation is the installation of a ILS CAT III B system to service the primary runway of Lahore Airport. Mr. Azeem tells that the system allows planes to land safely even when visibility is as low as 50 meters. “This has brought a major decrease in the number of delayed flights”, said Shujaat Azeem.
Shujaat Azeem served pro bono for this initiative, also investing his personal funds to improve the aviation sector.
Improving the Performance of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)
Remarkable results have been achieved in the operation of PIA. The company’s fleet grew more than twice from 2013 to 2015 and now includes 38 airplanes. As the Policy’s implementation continues, the fleet’s average age is projected to drop from 16 to 9 years.
The renovation of PIA’s fleet is already bringing positive results with the airline having 84% on-time departures. This is higher compared to Air India, Gulf and Emirates airlines.
The recently launched Pakistan Premier service is yet another example of the policy.
Higher Airport Security
The Airport Security Force is successfully reorganized, all thanks to Mr. Shujaat Azeem. Northern and Southern commands have been added for increasing the level of security. Policing items have been introduced to the uniform of officers.
Introduction of Advanced Weather Forecast Technology
Shujaat Azeem claims that the existing weather forecast system is upgraded through the transfer of state-of-the-art technology solutions. “These include weather radars, a regional flash flood guidance system and GLOF monitoring and warning centers”, explains Shujaat Azeem.
These new technologies help improve the civil aviation’s performance. They are also meant for the protection of the general population in the country.
According to Shujaat Azeem, the civil aviation policy of Pakistan is ambitious and is already bringing results which benefit millions of people and the country’s economy. Shujaat Azeem emphasized that the aviation industry directly generates employment and economic activity across several areas, including the operation of airlines and ground-based infrastructure.
The aviation sector’s direct impact on jobs and GDP makes this sector extremely important and it is hoped that the policy is implemented in a continued and sustained manner.