Biman ignored its board in hiring pilots
Minutes of Biman's 269th board meeting held on January 18, 2022, show the board approved recruitment of three captains for its Boeing 777s but the carrier hired eight.
A detailed working paper, signed by Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, former CEO of Biman, was presented to the board and it too mentions the recruitment of three standby captains for the Boeing 777-300ERs.
This paper has obtained documents and meeting minutes.
Of the eight captains recruited, Biman had to suspend two -- Irfanul Haq and Shah Nasimul Awal -- because they failed to complete their training within the stipulated one year.
They also failed to complete their initial route check, this newspaper had reported.
The training of another had to be halted allegedly due to security concerns, according to a Biman document dated February 12, 2023.
Biman in February 2022 hired 14 pilots – captains and first officers -- but only five of them could take to the skies a year later. The rest were lost for many reasons including failure to pass tests within a stipulated time and being fired for faking documents.
The Daily Star on March 1 last year ran a report titled "Biman paying for hiring unqualified Boeing 777 pilots".
The newspaper found that two first officers had faked their educational certificates.
This prompted a probe by Biman itself.
In August last year, the High Court bench of Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil ordered the civil aviation ministry to launch a probe into allegations of anomalies in pilot recruitment, after hearing a petition filed by Md Tanvir Ahmed who showed the court The Daily Star report.
The HC ordered that a three-member committee be formed, comprising an additional secretary from the civil aviation and tourism ministry and a high official each from the civil aviation authority and Biman.
When the probe committee member Group Captain Md Mukeet-ul-Alam Miah, director of flight safety regulations at the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, was contacted, he refused to comment but said they would look into the meeting minutes.