PIA to Get Control of Islamabad Airport Soon?

Pakistan International Airline (PIA) may soon get control of the Islamabad International Airport. Not only has the national carrier got a few financial concessions from the ruling government but it might also soon control the Islamabad Airport.

In a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on 1st January, big decisions were taken about the PIA’s future, as per the sources. Ministers for Finance, Revenue, Aviation and top guns from military attended the meeting. But there no senior official from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the meeting.

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A letter was written by the Secretary General of Union of Civil Aviation Muhammad Ayaz Butt to the Prime Minister, concerned over the decisions that were taken in the meeting. He said that the decision taken can negatively affect CAA which is the rare profit making authority in the country.

There were important decisions that were taken in the meeting. This including transferring PIA headquarters to the federal capital from Karachi. Also a possibility was discussed on giving PIA the control of Islamabad Airport. Study will be done in this regard and suggestions will be taken by March 2019.

It was decided that the dues PIA had to give to CAA along with the late payment penalty will be frozen. Additional guarantee of Rs15 billion will be given to that national carrier. Also, 8 additional Armed Forces’ officers will be positioned at PIA. The policy for Parliamentarians tickets was also reviewed.

A decision was taken to review the National Aviation Policy as “open skies clauses and associated Air Service Agreements (ASA) of the National Aviation Policy including routes, slots and capacity accorded to foreign airlines have been discriminatory and disadvantageous to the national flag carrier.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani did not comment on the minutes of the meeting and said, “These are not PM office minutes, therefore I can’t comment.”  

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