The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is working on a new aviation policy, a top CAA official has revealed.
Upon completion, the policy will be forwarded to the federal cabinet for approval next month, said Aviation Secretary and CAA Director-General Shahrukh Nusrat on Friday.
He made this disclosure while planting a sapling at the Jinnah International Airport under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Clean and Green Initiative.
He mentioned that the new policy would provide more facilities for the stakeholders and will simplify the rules to attract more airlines to Pakistan.
The aviation secretary, in November last year, held a meeting with industry stakeholders to constitute a committee for presenting their recommendations for a fair and open sky policy.
“The new policy will provide a level playing field for domestic airlines; it will support them at the policy level and give them an edge in procedural and regulatory matters,” said another CAA official on the condition of anonymity.
He said the new policy would be helpful for the domestic airlines which will protect them from maneuvering, but it won’t include undue support for any airline.
“That favor will not be at the cost of welfare and security of passengers.”
New Policy, Same Old Issues
The co-author of the National Aviation Policy 2015, Afsar Malik thinks the new policy would not be of much use.
“Policy change is a good decision, but, I don’t think it will make much difference,” he said.
“It’s because as all the bilateral air services agreements were signed before the last aviation policy, and were often blamed for unequal traffic rights,” he added.
Mr. Afsar explained that the air traffic rights are not granted to foreign airlines but to the countries they represent, on the principle of reciprocity.
He further added that the development usually comes under the bilateral Air Services Agreements, which have no link with the national aviation policy.
He mentioned that Pakistan could not make any changes into the agreement on its own. “Both countries have to agree on this.”
“One country can cancel the agreement by giving a notification one year ahead of cancellation, but that will aggravate the situation,” Malik said.
So, if Pakistan steps out of its agreement with the UAE (signed in 2002), the country will suffer a lot. “Pakistanis, who travel to the UAE for jobs and business, will have to go to the Gulf state through a third country,” he said. “It will be total chaos.”