Meeting of DGs, expert working group on civil aviation held

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The 11th meeting of Directors General of Civil Aviation of the Developing-8 (D-8) Organization was hosted by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, under Aviation Division in Islamabad on Monday. The Meeting was inaugurated by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Aviation, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan. D-8, is a global cooperation amongst major developing countries which include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. The objectives of D-8 Forum are to improve member states’ position in the global economy and enhance the living standard of its people by creating new opportunities in trade relationship.

The Forum of D-8 on Aviation has been holding regular meetings represented by the Directors General and Expert Working Group on Civil Aviation to identify and discuss the technical challenges and business opportunities within D-8 Countries. The meeting provides an opportunity to Aviation Industry and government authorities to participate and meet the key-decision makers from the D-8 Countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, placed emphasis on fostering sustained, peaceful and unifying ties amongst all member states, directed towards improving the economy and the living standard of the people of D-8 countries.  Commenting on the theme “Adding Wings to Economic Growth and Social Uplift in D–8 Countries” he agreed with Director General of Pakistan Civil Aviation, that it must be put to work, in the benefit of our people. He said Member states should create synergies to standardize and harmonize safety regulations in D8 region. There should be enhanced cooperation among member states for capacity building, he added. He further said that Emphasis should be given on technical trainings and human capital development. Member countries should exploit great potential of AVIATION for socioeconomic growth, he added.

Welcoming the Director Generals and other participants of the member states, DG Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, Air Marshal (R) Asim Suleiman, emphasized on strengthening the cooperation through coordinated, integrated and allied collaboration amongst D-8 member states in all spheres of Civil Aviation. He added it is essential to progress and move forward globally from ‘Developing’ to ‘Developed’ Civil Aviation activities.  He further highlighted joint safety and security, as the key areas where the forum must play its part.

Secretary General of D-8 organization, Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, in his keynote speech highlighted the increased role of D-8 countries in improving the economic position of the member states.

The participants appreciated the bold initiatives taken by the present Government to ensure safety of aircraft, facilitation to the travelling passengers and ensuring their safety and security.

The Meeting also highlighted CPEC under which several new economic and industrial zones are being established in various parts of Pakistan. These projects and number of domestic/ international flights would rise substantially, besides increase in passenger and cargo services which will consequently give more boosts to the Civil Aviation sector in our region. The Meeting is also being attended by Secretary Aviation, Industry Participants from D-8 Countries and CEOs of Aerospace Industry, Airlines and other major stakeholders in Aviation. The Meeting will conclude on 28th November, 2017.

While talking to the media, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Said that Pakistan places emphasis on fostering relationship with all members of D-8. He shared that we are always committed to elevate the standards of aviation and it is our foremost priority to upgrade the human resource development, and to exalt all airports to ensure the safety measures of passengers. He shed light on various ongoing and future projects and shared that New Islamabad International Airport-NIIAP is scheduled to be inaugurated in first quarter of 2018, whereas construction of Gawadar Airport will be started in March 2018. He said that the expansion of Allama Iqbal International Airport, and up gradation of Bacha khan Peshawar Airport, Faisalabad and Quetta International Airport, will also be made in 2018.

He said there has been complete revamping of the Air Navigation System, up-gradation and extension of Civil Airports and acquisition of state of the art security equipment. Radars with enhanced coverage have already been installed along with ADS-B systems, which shall be completed by mid-2018. Multan International Airport has been expanded and new boarding bridges have been installed at JIAP-Karachi. Expansion of AIIAP-Lahore is planned to start next year; however, BKIAP-Peshawar, Quetta and Faisalabad are in process of up-gradation, he concluded.