ISLAMABAD: The government has delegated powers of renewing existing airline licences to Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan. renewal
Earlier, the aviation secretary had been granting approval for the issuance and renewal of airline licences. However, in line with the Supreme Court decision, the PTI government decided to amend rules to end discretionary powers of the aviation secretary.
It gave such powers to the cabinet. But now, the government has delegated the licence renewal powers to the federal aviation minister. Cases of issuing new licences and cancelling existing licences will continue to be brought before the federal government, or the cabinet, for consideration and decision.
In a recent meeting of the cabinet, the Aviation Division sought the transfer of powers from the federal government to the minister or secretary of the division for issuing, renewing and cancelling the licences of airlines. The cabinet did not grant discretionary powers to the aviation secretary. It also did not give powers to the federal minister for licence issuance and cancellation.
In the meeting, the Ministry of Law and Justice clarified that the law was very clear and was without any ambiguity that the federal government could delegate its powers to any officer or authority subject to such conditions and in such circumstances as it may deem appropriate. It further clarified that the words officer or authority covered the minister and secretary.
However, the cabinet members argued that the powers of issuing new licences and cancelling the old ones should continue to rest with the federal government. Cases of renewal could be handled at the division level, they said.
According to Rule 177(1) of the Civil Aviation Rules 1994, the federal government is competent to approve a grant of various kinds of licences to airlines for carrying out operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2019.