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Pakistan International Airlines is fast earning notoriety for putting the lives of its passengers at risk as a pilot of the country’s flag carrier has been accused of allowing an unauthorised foreign national into the cockpit during landing. According to a report in Geo News, Captain Shahzad Aziz, the pilot of PIA flight PK-853 from Tokyo to Beijing, invited a young Chinese woman into the cockpit earlier this week, endangering the lives of other passengers.
As per the report, the woman remained inside the cockpit with the pilot and first officer for over two hours despite not being authorised into the cabin area. She reportedly came out of the compartment only after the plane landed. The woman was also alone with the pilot at one stage, according to a reporter of the news channel, who was also travelling on the same plane.
Pakistani law prohibits unauthorised persons from entering into the cockpit at any time during flights as it is a safety hazard. As per the law, the pilot has the responsibility to ensure that no unauthorised person enters the restricted part of the aircraft.
Reflecting on the matter, a PIA spokesperson said inviting a single passenger into the cockpit was not a security concern. However, the director-general of Civil Aviation Authority has ordered an investigation into the incident, CAA spokesperson said.
The incident occurs two weeks after PIA launched a probe against a senior pilot operating an Islamabad-to-London flight (PK-785) as he was accused of handing over the aircraft to a trainee pilot following take-off and taking a two-and-a-half-hour nap in the passenger compartment.
PIA had also triggered controversy in December 2015 when a pilot permitted Reham Khan, the ex-wife of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, to sit in the cockpit during her journey to Lahore from London.