Pakistan Airlines Pilot Association (PALPA) President, Captain Rizwan Gondal, has strongly condemned the unfair and irresponsible behavior of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in leveling the intoxication charges against its pilot.
The pilot was cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after undertaking several medical tests. The PALPA President issued a statement, pointing out that the blood and urine test of Capt. Khayyam operating flight PK791 came negative for alcohol and other psychoactive substances.
The statement further stated that highlighting the issue on media without waiting for the results of the tests had agonized the pilot and his family and had tainted the pilot’s reputation.
PALPA President said that the aviation industry has mandated for the pilot or crewmember to take a series of tests to ensure he/she is not under the influence of any psychoactive substance. The test series begins with a breathing test, which is followed by subsequent blood and urine tests if found positive.
But the CAA letter states, “Foregoing in view, it is revealed that Breath analyzer reports tested False Positive (an anomaly) on both occasions hence causing inconvenience and annoyance for all concerned.”
“However, Breath Analyzer Report Positive report is never regarded as Final. Moreover, even if Breath Analyzer for Alcohol is tested Positive, a complete protocol of Blood and Urine Tests for Alcohol and other Psychoactive Substances have to be followed in order to ensure Flight Safety.”
Gondal maintained that the PIA spokesperson failed to handle the situation in a professional manner. The pilot in question has given 28 years of his impeccably clean service to the PIA. This incident has caused irreparable damage not only to his repute but also to the entire community of pilots and the PIA itself.
The chief claimed that the incident indicates sheer bias and lack of professionalism. Misleading information was spread regarding the pilots without realizing that PIA’s repute is at stake and can send loyal passengers to other airlines.