Federal Ombudsman directs disciplinary action against CAA staff for mishandling of oversea passengers’ luggage

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Zubair Qureshi

Federal Ombudsman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi while taking notice of complaints against management of Islamabad International Airport regarding mishandling of overseas passengers’ luggage constituted an inspection team of senior officers.

The inspection team will investigate the issue at Islamabad International Airport and submit report.

A preliminary report in this regard has already been submitted after listening to the complaints of general public, witnessing the entire process of baggage handling of overseas passengers and holding meeting with the management of the Airport.

The team observed and noted a number of complaints of overseas passengers of five international flights coming from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and other countries. It observed that the overseas and domestic passengers were forced to wait for hours in getting their luggage due to the mismanagement of luggage handling staff of different companies.

The Ombudsman’s constituted team also noted the difficulties being faced by the overseas passengers who had to wait for hours in long queue along with their children at Immigration counters.

It was informed that although there were 40 counters but only 11 were operational due to shortage of staff. The team observed that due to less staff and inadequate number of vehicles for luggage handling the release of luggage was being hampered badly. The Federal Ombudsman taking a serious view of the situation has directed the DG Civil Aviation to conduct an inquiry and fix responsibility and take disciplinary action against the relevant personnel/contractors. He also directed to take immediate remedial measures to ensure early delivery of luggage to the incoming passengers. The Inspection Team also observed lack of seating arrangements for the passengers at the Airport who had no option but to sit on the floor. It also noted non-provision of Yellow vaccine and shortage of wheel chairs for the handicapped. The inspection team also visited the One Window Facilitation Desk where representatives of 12 agencies remain present round-the-clock but no complaint registers were being maintained by them expect OPF, CAA & ASF. The Ombudsman called upon the heads of CAA, FIA, PIA and other relevant agencies to inquire into the issues and take immediate necessary measures for resolution of the issues.