You might have seen the logo above when you took a flight or dropped a loved one at an airport!

Today, I visited the Headquarters of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority in Karachi.

A massive building with an architecture amplifying the power CAA’s people carry while they manage the country’s airspace and airports infrastructure.

But a building perhaps not suitable for a modern Pakistan. Pakistan of future will need sleek office buildings that boast efficiency and customer-centricity rather than aura, awe or power. And green too! Purely my blathering!

Although CAA has been a client for my leadership training and Train the Trainer courses for several years, it was the first time I visited their offices.

The purpose was to encourage CAA’s top team to become accessible to customers – both airlines and end users of their facilities – through social media, particularly Twitter. This way, they will be able to know the customer’s needs and concerns and carry engaging conversations.

The visit was part of my pro bono work on the advice of Aviation Minister Shujaat Azeem. His vision statement for this year: ‘Let us make 2015 a great year for Pakistan aviation’.

Shujaat Azeem 2015

I had the opportunity to meet DG CAA Air Marshal (R) Muhammad Yousaf, and general managers of HR, IT and Operations, besides a few others.

What I found out that the CAA was doing so much good work that wasn’t visible to many of us. E.g.:

  • Chief of HR mentioned that their recruitments in recent years have been solely on merit and completely transparent. Anyone who works in a public-sector organisation would know that it’s not a small feat, particularly when the pressure groups could include unions, internal employees, politicians, governments – all wielding power or threat.
  • GM of IT mentioned that they have developed and rolled out an online billing system internally instead of buying an expensive off-the-shelf software – within the same timeframe that the procurement would have got.
  • The leadership team told me that the DG is an honest and a capable man and he has been able to push decision-making for things which had been delayed for years. His eyes are on long-term reshaping of the aviation scene in Pakistan.

Was happy to see good coming out of an organisation which has direct customer-interface with millions of Pakistanis and thousands of foreigners travelling from overseas.

The above doesn’t mean that we are in a perfect state. Far from it! This engagement is only a beginning! A beginning for serving people better.

I hope that following this visit, you may see all airport managers and top leadership of CAA tweeting about the good things that they are doing. You may also see that they could be at the receiving end of a lot of criticism and unmet customer expectations. They should be ready for that too. Because this comes with the territory, doesn’t it? When they took up a government job, they signed up for this!

In future, I may make similar visits to leadership teams of PIA, ASF and Met Dept – the other three departments working under Aviation Minister, or Adviser, or Special Assistant, whatever you want to call him!

Stay tuned!

Earlier post: Shall I? Shall I not?

Also by Wali:

Wali Zahid on Pakistan of future

How future oriented are we?

Aviation enthusiast with eye on 2050

MH370 apology: Technology is so overrated!

  • tasneem

    Well, good to read that. A few days back Director HR asked his team (including me) to take charge of official facebook page of CAA. I am very keen to take that project as it was me who had initiated talk on CAA having its own official page, where we can show what we are and how we operate. Critivism is part of package, not to be afraid of. Hopei get that project when i get back to work after vacation. I ve fantastic team to positively do the thing with appropriate skill and knowledge.

    • Wali Zahid

      Excellent, Tasneem. Yes, Sumair mentioned that you will be leading a group of super users. Welcome to social media for a cause: turning employees into advocates!

  • usman

    Being recently hired as an officer in CAA I endorsed Mr.Sumair Saeed statement as i myself and many others new officers hired on merit and all this credit goes to him.

  • Ahsan Mansoor

    How about having an app for general public which could allow:

    – PIA flights schedule
    – Reservation and ticketing using credit/debit cards, Easypaisa
    – Airport information (flights arrival and departure, delays, weather conditions etc)
    – Submit feedback on services provided by CAA, PIA.

    There could be several other features but these are the ones at the top of my mind.

  • Nawaz Ahmed Sipra

    Thanks, we at CAA are in the process of making IT empowered CAA. For this purpose CAA has taken many initiatives for provision of IT based solutions to all functions of CAA beside the enhancement of its infrastructure. Many applications have been developed and implemented and many more are under development.

    • Wali Zahid

      Excellent, Sipra. Ahsan Mansoor has suggested above that CAA develops a phone app.

  • Sumair Saeed

    Thank you for the post. These are Words of encouragement indeed!

    Our objective is just one and that is to endeavour for making CAA as one of the best organizations in the World. The task is not easy but not impossible as well.

    The most basic and fundamental step we think is to strictly adhere to the merit especially while taking Human Resource related decisions.

    With fresh blood entering the organization on merit, I have absolutely no doubts in my mind that in the not-too-distant future, when they move up the ladder in the organizational hierarchy, they would uphold merit and take such decisions and develop such policies which would propel the organization and take CAA to the new heights.

    We regularly pray to Allah the Almighty for His Support and Blessings.

    • Wali Zahid

      And this is our hope for the future, Sumair.

    • Afsar Malik

      There are hundreds of young twitter savy CAA employees who need to be organised and who can contribute positively and effectively