CHS orders CAA to submit measures to include Mohenjo Daro Airport in TPRI

KARACHI: The Larkana Circuit Bench of the Sindh High Court has ordered the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director of Air Transport to submit a report regarding the steps taken by the authority to include the airport of Mohenjo Daro in the promotion of tourism and regional integration (TPRI).

The decision came on petitions filed by Sajid Hussain Mahesar and others attacking the dormancy of Mohenjo Daro airport, said to be due to discriminatory state neglect.

The claimants argued that Mohenjo Daro airport remains closed despite the presence of a national airline as well as several private airlines. They pointed out that the court, in its order of March 5, 2019, recognized the requirement of flights on secondary/socio-economic routes in accordance with the aviation policy.

The court observed that no justification was articulated by the defendant as to why the bastion of the Indus Valley Civilization World Heritage Site was ignored in this regard. The court observed that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has since discontinued its flight operations to Mohenjo Daro Airport, however, no compelling justification has been articulated in this regard.

At a request from the court, the head of PIA remained unable to justify the policy of interrupting flight operations to Mohenjo Daro airport. Counsel for the Petitioner argued that a prima facie case of abdication of regulatory duty, discrimination and contempt of court is made out particularly in view of the position and representations to the contrary contained in the para wise comments. submitted by the respondents.

The court ordered the Director of Air Transport CAA to file a written report detailing private airlines not complying with the aviation policy requirement to operate on secondary/socio-economic routes, the actions taken against them by the CAA, steps taken to ensure airline compliance with the aviation policy requirement to frequent secondary/socio-economic routes and steps taken to include Mohenjo Daro airport in the TPRI initiative .

The court ordered the Chief of Flight Operations of PIA to submit a statement detailing the reasons for the cessation of flight operations at Mohenjo Daro Airport despite the appeal taken through his para wise comments on December 14, 2017.

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