Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has decided to ground 150 pilots as a large number of them possessed “dubious licenses”, Dawn reported. The announcement comes a day after Pakistan’s Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan disclosed in the National Assembly that many pilots have dubious licenses. Khan presented to parliament a preliminary report about the May 22 Karachi air crash that killed 97 people. The report found the human factor as the reason for the tragedy.

The preliminary report found that the pilots of the May 22 flight from Islamabad to Karachi had “overconfidence and lack of focus” and did not follow set procedures for landing aircraft. PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez told Dawn that “about 150 pilots are being grounded.” The company is checking their licenses to see if they fit global standards to man flights- both domestic and international.

“Those found at fault will be terminated from service after following a due process,” he said. Probe into ATR pilot’s credentials began after the plane skidded off Panjgur runway in 2018. He said that the investigations into dubious licenses issued by the aviation regulator were highlighted by the PIA itself in the aftermath of the incident that occurred in Panjgur in November 2018 where an ATR skidded off the runway.

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The decision to ground the pilots was taken after Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said in the National Assembly that many commercial pilots were found with ‘dubious licenses’, Dawn newspaper reported. The PIA spokesman addressed the findings of the preliminary investigation report that was shared with the parliament by the aviation minister on the plane crash and reaffirmed PIA’s resolve for further improving safety standards within the company using the findings of the report as guiding principles, the Dawn report said.

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