An aviation companies’ body revealed a massive corruption scandal in the selling of Lahore’s Walton airport’s land, ARY News reported.

Aircraft Owners & Operators Association (AOOA) Pakistan, in a letter to federal Aviation Minister Khawaja Asif, said that Walton airport’s land worth Rs350 billion was sold in exchange for a rural land at Mureedke and Rs50 billion.

AOOA Pakistan General Secretary Wing Commander (Retd) Muhammad Nawaz Asim in the letter alleged that the sale was conducted against the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

“The worst thing is that out of Rs50 billion only Rs1 billion is received in the accounts of PCAA,” he added.

According to Asim, the historical airport was being destroyed by the land mafias colluding with the director general of CAA and government officials.

While urging for a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation along with judicial intervention in the matter, he said that the Walton gate scandal was a symbol of “mala fides on part of the CAA officials and that is how the Aviation Industry is being ruined as the Walton airport was a hub of General Aviation in Pakistan”.

He raised questions over the beneficiaries of the agreement to sell the airport’s land while urging for finding out who was used as a rubber stamp to facilitate such corruption.
“The destruction of the national asset where Quid-e-Azam landed in 1947 is a clear case of systematic collapse through the greed of a few,” Asim added.

It is pertinent to mention that the CAA in 2021 notified the permanent closure of Lahore’s oldest Walton airport.

In a notification, the CAA directed all flying clubs to ground their planes as the airport was permanently shut down for all operations.

According to CAA officials, a business hub would be constructed at Walton airport’s place.

Later that year, the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered that flight operations be restored at the Lahore Flying Club, Walton Airport.

A single bench comprising Justice Ali Baqar Najafi issued the order after a government counsel informed the court that eight to 22 weeks were required to prepare a report on the relocation of the airport and related infrastructure.

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