The Civil Aviation Authority Airworthiness Directorate has adopted the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) complaint system to check the airworthiness of aircraft.
The revelation came during the hearing of a case in Sindh High Court (SHC) demanding a judicial inquiry into PIA’s flight PK-661 crash in December 2016, in which 42 people, including the celebrity, Junaid Jamshed, and the crew lost their lives.
During the previous hearing, the CAA had been directed to submit a compliance report. While filing the report in the SHC, the official submitted that the CAA conducts annual airworthiness inspections of aircraft to ensure that all maintenance has been carried out on the aircraft during the preceding time and all other checks have been completed.
Any shortcomings identified during the inspection are conveyed to the operator for redressal.
The CAA has an annual surveillance program, based on international standards, besides aircraft maintenance organizations and operators are also audited to ensure compliance to regulatory requirements, ensuring the airworthiness of the aircraft.
Besides, the CAA inspectors also conduct ramp inspections and spot checks of aircraft to make sure that the operators are maintaining the regulatory requirements and the standards set by manufacturers.
Besides CAA, the division bench of SHC, headed by Mohammad Ali Mazhar, had also issued notices to PIA and others, including the ex-deputy chief engineer, who questioned PIA’s report on ATR aircraft’s airworthiness.
Before him, the complainant had contended that the ill-fated ATR-42-500 was continuously used by the national airline despite escaping major accidents while landing at the Lahore Airport in 2009 and engine failure during a flight in 2014. According to the complainant, PIA filed a false report which failed to identify the real cause of the crash.
The court directed all respondents to submit their replies on the application by May 26.