While PTI government has shown a keen interest in boosting commercial aviation and promote tourism, Pakistan’s commercial civil airports at Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, etc are coming increasingly under threats of rising bird hazard, jeopardizing the safety of aircraft and passengers.

The rise in the number of incidents where bird hits have damaged aircraft engines is costing airlines millions of dollars. The ensuing disruption in schedules further escalates losses and inconvenience to passengers who pay to travel by air on time and not to suffer numerous adverse consequences of needless delays. Recently Lahore runway was closed for over three hours when a flock of eagles invaded active airport airspace, forcing 7 flights to divert costing airlines millions and inconvenience to passengers. It is through the taxes from airlines and passengers that salaries are paid to CAA, ASF, etc making it obligatory upon them to ensure that flight safety is ensured.

While ICAO recommends that 15 Km periphery around active runways be free of obstructions and housing colonies, every airport in Pakistan has become an ideal choice of powerful vested interests to launch housing societies, marriage halls, restaurants, clubs, etc. The food waste attracts birds. When Allama Iqbal International Airport was built at a new location, there were no such constructions. The executives in CAA gave NOC to powerful groups. When Regulatory Agencies like CAA and security forces like ASF get involved in commercial ventures, then basic regulatory function and security become a casualty. Use by ASF of a copy of ADE 651, declared fake all over the world, is criminal. The area in the vicinity of new Islamabad Airport which has cost this poor country almost Rs 100 Billion has also fallen prey to the greed of Real Estate Mafia of this country.

MT ALI,

Lahore.