None of the four helicopters being put up for auction by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government have a valid airworthiness certificate, according to a media report,
According to BBC Urdu, the Cabinet Division has informed the Prime Minister’s Office in writing that it would require a large amount of money to refurbish the helicopters so they could be fit for auction.
“All four helicopters have been in a dilapidated condition for a long time due to unavailability of spare parts, ” the report said.
Manufactured by Bell Helicopters, the American government had presented two UH-1H helicopters in 1971-74 and two in 1992-93 to Pakistan as a gift for “relief and rescue” activities.
“The Pakistani government later ended up buying new helicopters to replace the old models. These helicopters have been parked unused in heliports for several years.”
According to the Cabinet Division, the 1992-93 model can still be refurbished by replacing parts but that could cost tens of millions of rupees. It would be even more expensive to bring the older model in functional use.
The news outlet claimed that although the helicopters were originally intended for relief operations, they could also be equipped with ammunition, making it another hurdle in the public auction.
“But judging from the condition of these machines, it will be next to impossible to find a prospective buyer,” the report said.
It added that a final decision pertaining to these helicopters will be made by PM Imran Khan.
Earlier, the government had announced that four surplus helicopters of the Cabinet Division will be auctioned.
Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Political Affairs Naeemul Haq had said on Twitter, “the helicopters are not currently under the Cabinet Division’s use and thus deemed surplus helicopters.”
After the surplus car auction , 4 surplus helicopters will be sold which are lying unused with the cabinet division. Plus , now listen to this, 8 buffaloes which Nawaz kept at the PM house for his gastronomic requirements. So all potential buyers please get ready.
— Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) September 10, 2018