Karachi: President International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) Captain Martin Chalk while appreciating Pakistani government desire to strengthen regulations has appealed the Prime Minister to promote quality employment opportunities for its airlines’ pilots and protect, promote and enhance their professional status.
In a letter written to Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on August 15, he pointed out that the Canada based IFALPA represents more than 100,000 professional pilots in more than 90 countries worldwide and actively participates in Air Navigation Commission as an observer, a status given by ICAO.
“IFALPA is an organization primarily concerned with the safety and technical aspects of the aviation industry and, as such, is one of only two organizations to enjoy permanent observer status at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” he added.
Chalk said Pakistan is fortunate to have a Pilots’ Association – PALPA – which is a member of IFALPA. This professional pilot body he asserted is a great asset to Pakistan. “Pilots are the ultimate users of the aircraft they operate, the airspace through which they navigate and the airports into which they fly,” he said adding that they are, therefore, in a unique position to provide an important perspective that is based purely on safety considerations.
He said government of Pakistan should benefit from the expertise of its pilots and encourage the participation of PALPA in the development of aviation policies.
He said IFALPA is aware that current proposed changes to the employment status of pilots are a source of tension between the airline and the Pilots. “It may run counter to the aims set out in your proposed National Aviation Policy,” he cautioned. He said IFALPA would support a viable and expanding air transport industry. IFALPA supports the stated aim of Pakistan to ensure your national airlines would not be put at a disadvantage as new open skies bilateral agreements are negotiated. A level playing field and reciprocal opportunities are crucial to succeeding in growing your civil aviation industry, he added.
He said, IFALPA is constantly striving to promote aviation professionalism and safety throughout the world and its representatives attend over 700 aviation meetings worldwide each year. “Our elected office bearers are full time pilots who voluntarily devote their time to enhancing aviation safety,” he said adding that the work done by IFALPA and its representatives has direct benefit to the aviation industry, and of course, to airlines such as PIA.
“We support your desire to bring about a positive and meaningful change in Pakistan’s aviation industry,” he said requesting the Pakistan PM to oversee this important review of the aviation industry in Pakistan and again suggest to include PALPA in any future discussions on the implementation of this new aviation policy.