Verify academic certificates of all pilots: CAAB to all aviation operators

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) has sent a letter to all of the country's airlines, helicopter operators and flying academies to verify academic certificates of all pilots.

Undersigned by Air Cdre Shah Kawsar Ahmed Choudhury, member (flight standard and regulations) of CAAB, the letter was sent to 22 operators, including Biman, US-Bangla, Novo Air and Air Astra, asking them to submit reports by May 31.

The regulatory authority of the country's civil aviation came up with the move following a recent report by The Daily Star on the submission of forged educational certificate by Biman first officer Sadia Ahmed, who claimed to be an HSC student from science group.

But information retrieved from the Dhaka Board of Education shows she was a student of humanities and got second division in HSC with Bangla, English, civics, psychology, and home economics.

The CAAB rulebook mandates that all commercial pilots must have the minimum educational qualification of HSC (science) or equivalent with mandatory physics and mathematics.

In another instance, first officer Al Mehedi Islam of Biman Bangladesh Airlines had his contract terminated for having forged his Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), which is required to be a pilot in command.

The licence had a forged signature of Shirin Sultana, former assistant director of flight safety at CAAB.

CAAB in its letter issued on March 19 said, according to Civil Aviation Rules (CAR) 84, the minimum required academic qualification for a private pilot licence is the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) from science group or equivalent.

For commercial pilot licence and ATPL, it is Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) from science group or equivalent with physics and mathematics.

CAAB said they have taken a programme to verify the academic certificates of the existing licence holders.