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Aviation Association Accuses Large-Scale Corruption in Walton Airport Land Sale

The Aircraft Owners & Operators Association (AOOA) Pakistan has brought to light a significant corruption scandal involving the sale of land at Lahore’s Walton airport.

In a letter addressed to Federal Aviation Minister Khawaja Asif, the AOOA Pakistan General Secretary Wing Commander (Retd) Muhammad Nawaz Asim revealed that land at Walton airport, valued at Rs350 billion, was exchanged for rural land in Mureedke along with a sum of Rs50 billion. Asim alleged that this transaction violated the rules and regulations of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), with only a fraction of the amount, Rs1 billion, actually reaching the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) accounts.

Asim further accused land mafias, in collusion with the director general of CAA and government officials, of orchestrating the sale, leading to the destruction of a historic airport. He emphasized the need for a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation and judicial intervention, denouncing the Walton gate scandal as indicative of the “mala fides” of CAA officials and the detrimental impact on Pakistan’s aviation industry, particularly given Walton airport’s significance as a hub for General Aviation.

Concerns were raised regarding the beneficiaries of the land sale agreement, and Asim urged for an investigation to identify those responsible for facilitating the corruption. He lamented the destruction of a national asset, where Quaid-e-Azam landed in 1947, attributing it to the greed of a few individuals.

Notably, in 2021, the CAA announced the permanent closure of Walton airport, directing flying clubs to cease operations. Plans were made to develop a business hub in its place. However, the Lahore High Court later intervened, ordering the restoration of flight operations at the Lahore Flying Club, Walton Airport, following a government commitment to provide a report on the relocation of the airport and related infrastructure within eight to 22 weeks.

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