CAA closes 5 major airports for International traffic


NDMA starts fumigations at airports against corona
Amraiz Khan


CAA has closed five major airports for international flights and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) started fumigation at all airports to cope with Corona virus threat, Well-placed sources in the aviation confided to Pakistan Observer on Saturday.
The decision was taken in a National Security Council (NSC) meeting held in Islamabad on Saturday. A senior CAA officer seeking anonymity said, “We are already sterilizing our airports, planes, tunnel areas, walkways and other sensitive areas”. A federal team of NDMA reached Lahore airport for fumigation.
As per decision of NSC international flights will remain suspended at Peshawar, Faisalabad, Quetta, Sialkot, and Multan and notification in this effect has been issued on Saturday.
However domestic operation of the flights will remain continued at the following airports across Pakistan.
As per notification the Peshawar-bound international flights will land at Islamabad, whereas, international flights for Quetta have been diverted to Jinnah International Airport Karachi, notification added.
The four international fights coming from Dubai, Bahrain and Jeddah for Multan airport, will now land at Lahore airport
The authority has also barred pilots, inspectors, examiners for Operator Proficiency Check (OPC) and Pilot Proficiency Check (PPC) from visiting abroad with immediate effect. PIA and CAA don’t have simulators in Pakistan and pilots and crew have to visit abroad for this purpose but CAA and NSC have also banned above practice also.
The notification is conveyed to all national and international airlines, flying clubs and others.
Airlines and countries are continuing to restrict travel following the spread of the novel coronavirus outside the borders of Chinese territory. With increased cases of coronavirus being reported in countries near and far from China including South Korea, Italy, and Iran, numerous routes around the world are being cut to prevent the further spread of the disease. The reductions in service are caused by a mix of low-demand and government mandate restricting travel to certain regions. Middle Eastern and Asian countries are among those being the most proactive in attempting to stem the spread of the virus as it finds its way across their regions. To a question about the closure of the five airport and losses caused to economy, a senior officer of CAA said that airports are not being closed rather those flights would be diverted to other airports. So there would be not any specific loss with the decision. He said that decision was taken to handle the thing smoothly and more effectively. Three airport would be easier to control monitor and look after rather than eight.

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