Since 2006, airlines regulated by CAA suffered six fatal crashes within Pakistan, which point to serious flaws and lack of capacity, capability and competence of those employed by regulator, respective airlines and choice of men placed at helm. The airlines involved in these crashes range from PIA, Bhoja Air, AirBlue to JS Air.
Before 2006, last major crash occurred 14 years ago in 1992 involving PIA A300-B4 on approach to Kathmandu on 28 September. There has been no accident investigation report ever published and made public by any Investigation Committee. In case of Kathmandu crash, manufacturers of Ground Proximity Warning System revealed facts in a documentary titled Controlled Flight Into Terrain. From 2006 onward, series of accidents occurred at regular intervals with Pk 688 Fokker crash on July 10, 2006, two more in 2010 namely Airblue A321 crash on 28 July and JS Air Beech 1900 crash near Dadu, followed by Bhoja Boeing 737-236 crash on April 20, 2012. PIA ATR crash on 12 December 2016 and latest PIA 8303 crash on 22 May 2020. Does this not reflect poorly on regulators?
Aircraft crash involves five factors (a) human/pilot error (b) Technical status of aircraft (c) ATC, (d) conflicting traffic and (e) lapses in regulatory control by regulator CAA. Aircraft manufacturers develop SOP, Emergency and Abnormal procedures, training and competency checks and mandatory Maintenance checks and restrictions involving 15 KM sterile zone with approval of ICAO. This A320 aircraft was grounded for almost 60 days and checks were due. A 4-member Accident Investigation Committee, headed by Group Captain and two PAF officers and a civilian has been formed to investigate PIA, headed by serving AM and 14 senior serving officers on deputation and CAA with many retired former officers. Even if there was a combination of either, or both, pilot error and aircraft technical problems, Pk 8303 could have evaded fatalities, provided terrain in close proximity did not have concrete multi-storied construction on approach path.
Malik Tariq Ali