HC orders probe over allegations of irregularities in Biman pilots’ recruitment

Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Reuters file photo

The High Court (HC) on Sunday directed the authorities concerned to investigate the allegations against Biman Bangladesh Airlines regarding violations of international and its own regulations in recruitment of pilots, reports UNB.

The HC also asked to submit a report in this regard within one month.

The bench of justice JBM Hasan and justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order.

The three-member probe committee includes the secretary to the Ministry of civil aviation and tourism, a senior official of Biman, and a senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority.

Md Tanveer Ahmed appeared for the petitioner.

On 27 March, a legal notice was sent to form an independent committee to probe the allegations for public interest. It asked to take steps to form an independent committee within two days of receiving the notice.

A writ petition was filed as no action was taken after receiving the notice where secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism, the chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, the managing director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines were made the defendants.

Bangladesh Airlines Pilots Association (BAPA) alleged that the authorities of the national flag carrier had grossly violated international and its own rules in recruiting pilots.

BAPA demanded an investigation into the recruitment for the sake of smooth operations.

Earlier, BAPA's executive committee submitted a letter to the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Biman demanding an investigation into the matter.

A copy of the letter was also sent to the director of Aviation Administration and Flight Operations Department.

In the letter, the association said, "We have pointed out at different times that the way contractual pilots are being recruited is beyond regulation."

The responsibility of the recruitment was given to the chief of training whose own wife was a candidate and which was surely a conflict of interest, the letter said.

"The recruitment could have been done within the legal and ethical framework, which would have best suited the airline and its pilots. But the way recruitment was done, it has seriously tarnished the image of the national flag carrier and the pilot community," the letter reads.

Meanwhile, BAPA said, there is an agreement between Biman and BAPA for the appointment of pilots. However, this agreement was breached at the time of the pilots' recruitment.

The letter also said that due to extreme negligence of Biman, the crews of Boeing-787 flight had to go abroad to retake two trainings named ZFTT and PPC, "resulting in huge financial loss to Biman."

"Biman received a warning letter from the Civil Aviation Authority due to irregularities. This is embarrassing for an airline," BAPA said.