The air traffic controllers (ATC) have raised concerns over the aviation ministry’s decision to split Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) into two administrative divisions.
Last month, the ministry had rolled out a new aviation policy under which it had announced to bifurcate CAA into two divisions – regulatory and services divisions.
According to the new policy, the Regulatory Division will control the operation directorate and area control centers while the control tower, pre-flight information unit and ground operation control will fall under Airport Services Division.
However, air traffic controllers are opposing the plan claiming that they were not consulted. They demand that their section should not be divided. Pakistan Air Traffic Controllers Guild (PATCG) has written a letter to the secretary aviation in this regard.
The letter, signed by 400 air traffic controllers, said that the department earns over 80 percent of CAA’s overall revenue; hence, it could not be ignored in the bifurcation process.
The air traffic controllers, who are major stakeholders in this segregation, strongly disagree with the division and placement of the ATC functions under separate divisions.
PATCG suggested establishing ATC as a separate entity, arguing that it could achieve the goal of bifurcation and improve the safety and security standards of the flights.
It argued that air traffic control was a specialized job purely depending on teamwork. Dividing it into two divisions under separate heads will reduce efficiency.
Keeping in view the sensitive nature of the job of ATC, the strategic location of Pakistan in region and security of the country, the placement of ANS under regulatory division as a wholly separate entity is more feasible, viable and highly recommendable.
The letter has also asked the ministry to make efforts to revive the sick units of Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Pasni, Gwadar, Ormara, Panjgur, and DI Khan airports rather than converting the earning airports into sick units with wrong policies.