Saad demands an immediate report on the incident

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has requested an immediate report from officials involved in the reported downing of two PIA jets into Iranian airspace last Sunday (July 24).

Federal Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique demanded the report within a day on the incident. Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s aviation chief recalled that a near-miss between two Pakistani planes flying in Iranian airspace on July 24 was due to an unauthorized decision by the pilot of one of the planes to descend. at a dangerous altitude. Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) chairman Mohammad Mohammadi Bakhsh has called “unprofessional” comments made this week by a PIA spokesman who blamed the near-miss on a mistake Iranian air traffic controllers. He said the pilot of one of the flights to Peshawar misunderstood Iranian air traffic control signals and decided to descend to an altitude which could have resulted in a collision with another PIA flight to Dubai. . “We have the transcript of the conversation between the pilot and the country’s airspace control center. The pilot misunderstood the controller’s advice and reduced his altitude without permission,” he said, as quoted by Iran’s official news agency. “We will take legal action on this issue in international (aviation) organizations,” said the official who is also deputy to Iran’s transport minister.

The comments come as the CAO has yet to announce the official results of an investigation into the alleged near miss between the two PIA planes. CAO officials said earlier this week they were awaiting control center documents and pilot reports for further investigation.

PIA spokesman Abdullah Hafeez Khan reportedly claimed after the incident that the pilots managed to correct their course and avoid a collision based on warnings issued by a cockpit system.

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