Minister for Civil Aviation and Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique has said that the airports must not be constructed in the country on political grounds as such adventures had subsequently proved a burden on the national kitty. Federal Minister told the parliament that 17 out of 47 airports in the country were at a loss and nonfunctional due to a low percentage of passengers. Khawaja claimed that he had devised a plan for procuring 70-seater planes on lease to attract passengers and operate those nonfunctional airports. Ironically, while telling the reasons to the lawmakers for government losses in the aviation industry, Federal Minister announced the construction of one more International airport seemingly on a political basis in Dera Ismail Khan.
The state and the people of Pakistan are in a position that resembles to a bed patient as the national economy is on the verge of collapse. The economic default risk has reached 80% as foreign reserves contracted below the psychological level of $ 8 billion and skyrocketed inflation has pushed nearly half of the population into the poverty. All these havocs put no impact on the politics or governing style of the political elite, because both the treasury as well as the opposition did not let no stone unturned to promote their politics and deplete the nation. Anti-statism of both parties is evident, as the opposition disturbed the economy by staging rallies and demonstrations while the government intensified this rivalry through anatognaism and confrontation.
Historically, Pakistan’s aviation industry became prey to nationalism, nepotism, and corruption of its employees and politicians while recurrent political decisions regarding the construction of airports, flight routes, procurment of airplanes and overstaffing had been the major reasons behind down fall of national flag carrier in the past. Whereas hefty salary packages, massive allowances and extensive incentives for CAA and PIA employees are an other reason for fiscal debt of aviation sector of the country. In fact, the politicians and bureaucrats have an distinct way of working who demand limitless power, freedom in decisions, cherry-pick staffing along with boundless period for making a miracle that never happened so far.
According to experts, Pakistan’s aviation industry is a sleeping giant which needs fundamental structural and operational reforms to reinvent itself through promotion of domestic and regional markets, partnering with global tourism corporations, PTDC, Academics and industry to bring a revolution in this sector. Today prosperity comes through opportunity and wealth creation and sharing mechanism, the PIA leadership must offers incentives to the public, private businesses, public departments and government employees to attract customers, which is the real assence of travel industry. The consturction of new airports and initiation of new air routes should be based on number of customers/passengers in a particualr area instead of political and geographical reasons, otherwise aviation sector never get out of the current febleeness in the future.