IATA Completes Its PIA Safety Audit

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has this week completed an operational safety audit of Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) different departments. A four-member team representing the group has been in Pakistan to inspect the carrier since Monday.

EASA bans Pakistani licensed pilots
An expert team from the International Air Transport Association has been in Pakistan for the last five days to conduct a safety audit of Pakistan International Airlines. Photo: Getty Images

An important visit

Outlook reports that IATA looked at several of PIA’s departments. Flight operation, safety and security, passenger service, and engineering were all inspected by the group. The team consisted of two people from the United Kingdom, an expert from Turkey, and another individual from Europe.

An operational safety audit happens every two years. However, there is a certain significance with this week’s investigation. This audit followed the tragic accident that happened on flight PK-8303 on May 22nd. The incident saw a PIA Airbus A320 crash near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, causing 97 fatalities.

Before his institution had set off to Pakistan, Albert Tjoeng, IATA’s assistant director of corporate communications, Asia Pacific, said the following:

“Following the accident involving PK8303, we have initiated an operational safety verification audit of the PIA. This is the standard practice after an airline experiences an accident or other serious event.”

PIA crash Karachi
The site of the wreck near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport that saw Pakistan International Airlines’ Airbus A320 tragically crash. Photo: Getty Images

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A well-rounded investigation

PIA’s management subsequently made the required preparations for IATA’s visit. Workers removed inoperable aircraft and equipment from the apron of the airport in Karachi. They also covered the debris of the plane that crashed. It was also expected that the visiting group would be briefed on the carrier’s fleet.

After arriving, the team convened before going to the cargo area of the airport on Monday morning. The group also wanted records of the engineering section of the airline and other required documents for inspection.

They were busy for the rest of the day looking at the airport apron and ramp area before analyzing registers and emails. The team were also occupied on Wednesday with inspection of ground handling and the technical ramp.

Pakistan International Airlines also confirmed that it had suspended 150 pilots over concerns about the authenticity of their licenses. Photo: Getty Images

A necessary procedure

Altogether, the audit is complete, but details of the outcome are yet to be revealed. Nonetheless, this process is what is needed to help the PIA get back on track following a challenging year for the airline. Global authorities will also be keeping their eye on the progress as the European Union and the United States banned the airline from their airspace amid the revelation of several of PIA’s pilots holding dubious licenses.

Simple Flying reached out to Pakistan International Airlines for comment on the safety audit. The airline will soon share information on preliminary findings.

What are your thoughts about IATA’s audit of Pakistan International Airlines? What do you feel will be the next move? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.