Pakistan's aviation body exposes massive corruption scandal

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Islamabad, April 2 (IANS): In a major expose of corruption scandal in the sale of land of Walton Airport in Pakistan's Lahore cantonment area; the Aircraft Owners & Operators Association (AOOA) has written a letter to the Federal Aviation Minister detailing the illegal sale of Walton airport's land worth Rs 350 billion in exchange of rural land and Rs 50 million.

"Selling of the land of Walton Airport, Lahore is a perfect case of violation of rules, regulations and proceeds done through deception. The land of Walton airport is evaluated to be worth 350 Billion PKR or more which has been sold against the written rules and regulations/laws of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in exchange of a rural land at Mureedke and 50 billion PKR," the letter from Capt Wg Cdr (Rtd) Muhammad Nawaz Asim, General Secretary AOOA Pakistan to Federal Ministry of Aviation/Defense stated.

"The worst thing is that our of 50 billion PKR only one billion PKR is received in the account of PCAA (Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority). Where has the rest of the money gone? Who is the beneficiary, and who has been used as a rubber stamp to facilitate such corruption?" the letter added.

AOOA also highlighted the historical value of the Walton Airport, terming it a national asset as the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, landed at this airport in 1947.

"The national asset and valuable historical airport has been reportedly destroyed by land mafias colluding with the DG CAA and Government officials. The destruction of the national asset where Quaid-e-Azam landed in 1947 is a clear case of systematic collapse through the greed of a few," read AOOA's letter to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif.

"The Walton gate scandal is a symbol of mala fides on the part of the CAA officials and this is how the Aviation industry is being ruined as the Walton Airport was a hub of General Aviation in Pakistan, which requires Judicial intervention and NAB investigation," the letter added.

It should be noted that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) notified a permanent closure of the Walton airport in the year 2021.

Taking note of the AOOA letter, the CAA has notified all flying clubs to ground their planes, shutting down the airport for all operations.