CAA on wrong path

CAA trifurcated to improve micro management by the newly appointed DG CAA, truly speaking the functional separation already existed but in a different manner. The CAA with old organisational structure has been generating revenue over Rs 60 billion a year. Unfortunately whenever there is restructuring or reorganisation in any organisation it ends up in creating more high profile jobs and top is made very heavy to accommodate favourites but at what cost? There is no harm in restructuring if it is done in the larger interest of the organisation, to bring more efficiency and remove the bottle necks to make the working simple and result oriented. Let us take an example from CAA itself. The head of administration department was called Director Administration it was changed to Chief Human Resources, likewise we had Director Finance that was changed to Chief Financial Officer(CFO) and now it is called Director Human Resources and Director Finance respectively.. All such changes when made are termed as great achievement and great vision and fall under reorganisation. In fact it is just waste of time and effort.
Undoubtedly this organisation has suffered badly from 2012 to 2018 when a mechanical engineer was posted as Chief Human Resources who patronised his own group and side lined all senior and competent officers of the CAA and shook the foundation of CAA, non civil engineers were posted as directors during the construction of New Islamabad Airport.Due to gross mismanagement massive corruption and political interference and illegal appointment of DG CAA Asif Fasihuddin Vardag filed a constitutional petition 33/2013 against illegal appointment of DG CAA in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Supreme Court after hearing declared it illegal ab initio in September 2013, while declaring it illegal in para 55 said that this Court in exercise of powers under Article 184(3) of the Constitution has concluded that in the public interest and also to enforce their Fundamental Rights, appointment must be made on merit, lest it should cause damage to the institutions responsible for running different affairs of the Government and also generating funds for the purpose of spending on the welfare of the citizens with a view to improve standard of life in terms of Article 9 of the constitution. Unfortunately it is a dilemma that even Supreme Court’s decision has not been implemented even now is being violated.
Since 2018 no DG CAA was posted for 2 years and Secretary Aviation was given additional charge not covered under the rules and it otherwise falls in the category of conflict of interest. Now a bureaucrat has been appointed as DG CAA in Nov 2020 that is once again against the decision of the SC. The ordinance clearly lays down that the appointment of DG CAA is subject to recruitment rules for civil aviation class 1 posts it says that Director General will be from the incumbents of next lower posts in any Technical branch of the department , with minimum 15 years class 1 service in any government aeronautical organisation with minimum 15 years Class 1 service in any government aeronautical organisation or service preferably with experience ” as pilot in command”. It is very strange when you have capable human resource available in CAA why hire from outside. In any case CAA is a commercial organisation it can only be handled properly by the regular officers of the CAA.
Under reorganisation circulated vide DG directive No 01/2021 dated 5th January 2021 two additional posts of Additional Director Generals, 4 Deputy Director Generals have been created against one. There is an army of Additional Directors around 109 making it top heavy. Question arises when CAA could function without DG CAA for 2 years , is there any justification in creating more appointments of Additional DG and Additional Deputy Director Generals that too when very few airlines are operating from Pakistan? Restructuring is not bad thing but in our case restructuring means to create more high profile appointments cut down lower grade officers. We cannot expect miracles when dental surgeon is asked to carry out heart surgery. Organisations efficiency does not depend on creating more jobs at senior level but on their performance in handling air travellers and manning airports like international standards, secondly how can you improve the micro management without having its concept for that you have to motivate the lower staff to give their best and not make top heavy. It cannot be Pakistani agenda, we have seen how we destroyed our national assets Pakistan Steel and pride of the country PIA under the cover of restructuring. CAA does not require such high structure as 80 percent revenue is drawn from aeronautical charges without any effort. Therefore it should be reverted to old structure to make it more efficient rather destroying it. When we had over 30 airlines in Pakistan CAA gave excellent results under one DG and one Dy DG fetching revenue around Rs 60 billion why disturb the arrangements without amending the ordinance.

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