Pakistan CAA to train Afghan officials in aviation industry

Pakistan CAA to train Afghan officials in aviation industry

ISLAMABAD — Officials in Islamabad said on Thursday that Pakistan would train Afghan aviation personnel in air traffic control and airport operations.

The Afghan government requested the assistance during a recent visit of its foreign minister to Islamabad, Pakistani officials said.

Afghanistan’s Interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made his first visit to Pakistan last week and discussed enhanced trade, cross-border movement and regional connectivity with top officials.

The Afghan Embassy in Islamabad said in a statement earlier this week that the two sides also agreed Pakistan would provide professional training to Afghan aviation personnel.

Pakistan's foreign office spokesperson, Asim Iftikhar, confirmed that Islamabad was "ready to offer professional capacity building to Afghans in requisite areas."

"Aviation is one such area in which Pakistan will be providing assistance," he said.

As the foreign office requested aviation authorities in Islamabad to provide information on training facilities, Noor Ahmed, deputy secretary of the Pakistani government's aviation division said the country's national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) are both ready to assist Afghan personnel.

“We have told foreign ministry that both PIA and Civil Aviation are ready to provide the required training to Afghan teams," Ahmed said.

PCAA air transport director Irfan Sabir, who was part of the Pakistani delegation during the Afghan foreign minister's visit to Islamabad, said the Afghan side had requested training in several areas, including air traffic control, airport operations and aircraft maintenance.

“They have requested us to provide training in ATC (air traffic control), radar control, aircraft maintenance and operational training and airport operations training," Sabir said.

Training, he added, would take place at the Civil Aviation Training Institute (CATI) in Hyderabad, Sindh province.

Sabir said the sessions will start as soon as the countries sign a memorandum of understanding, of which details are currently being worked out.

To expedite the process, both sides have agreed to nominate their focal persons.

“Pakistan has already announced (the) name of its officer as focal person. We are waiting for the Afghan side to announce their focal person," Sabir said. "Once our MOU will be signed then we will accept trainees from Afghanistan.