Islamabad, 24th November, 2021; 9th meeting of the Standing Committee on Aviation Division was held today at 11:00 a.m. in the Committee Room of Aviation Division, 8th Floor, Kohsar Block, Pak Secretariat, Islamabad, under the Chairmanship of Haji Imtiaz Ahmed Choudhary, MNA.
2. The meeting started with the recitation from the Holy Quran. Afterwards, the Committee proceeded with the agenda of the meeting.
3. The Committee confirmed minutes of its eighth meeting held on 7th October, 2021.
4. The Committee took three Bills on its agenda namely, “The Pakistan Airports Authority Bill, 2021”, “The Pakistan Civil Aviation Bill, 2021” and “The Civil Unmanned Aircraft System Bill, 2021” that were recently introduced by the government. The Ministry gave a detailed briefing on the first two Bills and informed that the said legislation was already being implemented in the form of Ordinances. The Committee was briefed that the main purpose of both the Bills was to bring segregation in the regulatory functions and the airport services related sections of the Civil Aviation Authority to minimize any chances of conflict of interest. It was further apprised that the previous laws that governed the aviation related activities in Pakistan were drafted in 1960s and 1980s, and therefore, were obsolete to provide for the recent challenges and requirements. Moreover, Pakistan is a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention. The said Convention provided for the laws regarding airspace, aircraft registration and safety, security, and sustainability, and detailed the rights of the signatories in relation to air travel. The Convention was supported by nineteen annexes containing standards and recommended practices (SARPs) that were regularly amended and updated. The proposed laws by the Government had been formulated in compliance of the standards laid down by the Chicago Convention. The Committee appreciated the inclusiveness of the said two Bills and voted in favor of the same.
5. The Committee also discussed “The Civil Unmanned Aircraft System Bill, 2021” in detail. The Ministry briefed the Committee that drones and unmanned aircrafts were the rapidly emerging avenues of aviation and there had been a trend of regularizing the same in developed countries of the world. The drones or unmanned aircrafts were being used for several purposes such as mapping, survey, commercial photography, agriculture, as well as deliveries. However, in the absence of any formal guidelines, the amateur use of drones had so far been illegal in Pakistan. Therefore, it was imperative to draft set of guidelines to bring the use of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles under a legal framework that was governed by an Authority. The Ministry further informed that the proposed Authority shall govern and oversee the licensing, import, production, sale, purchase and usage of the unmanned aircraft systems according to their weight, size and purpose. The majority members of the Committee voted in favor of the said Bill.
6. Honorable Members/MNAs Ch. Shaukat Ali Bhatti, Mr. Faiz Ullah, Ms. Saira Bano, Malik Karamat Ali Khokhar, Mr. Tahir Iqbal, Mr. Niaz Ahmed Jakhar, Ms. Munawara Bibi Baloch, Ms. Asma Qadeer, Mr. Jai Parkash, Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddique, Ms. Shahnaz Saleem Malik, Choudhary Faqir Ahmed, Ms. Romina Khursheed Alam, Dr. Darshan and Mr. Kamal ud Din attended the meeting. The Federal Minister for Aviation, Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khan, MNA, also participated in the meeting as its Ex-officio Member.