Airports only a blink away from apocalypse

Airports only a blink away from apocalypse

25 May, 2017-Kathmandu


Aviation history in Nepal began back in 1947 when a single engine glider landed in Gaucharan, Sinamangal, a tiny cow grazing pasture which today is known as the Tribhuwan International Airport. Since then numerous foundation stone were laid and the country today has 48 domestic and 1 international airports.

The increasing number of airports simultaneously brought aircraft operators and landed aircraft in ascending numbers. Similarly, the ascending flight operation led in busy air traffic. The rapid air traffic resulted on hurtle air service by the airport authority and operator which has resulted in negligence to flight safety. This rush of service without proper fight safety precaution has concluded to numerous flight crashes.

Analyzing the recent and past aircraft incidents, that aware both the aviation and airport authorities are found missing on to meet the proper safety standards. This missing standard on safety precaution of an aircraft has resulted in rapid crashes.

The European Union so far has restricted the Nepali operators from entering the European territory blaming on the negligence of the flight safety. Having so; all the three i.e. airline operator, civil aviation and airport authorities must be concerned to fix the issue but monitoring on the sum of rapid negligence made by the controllers,  it seems like none of the authorities are bothered about the proper safety precautions.

A lot of pilots and on operation staffs have shared Aviation Nepal about their experience on some of such major negligence.

We are all known about the recent incident of Sita Air in Phaplu Airport, where a Dornier ‘9N-AHR’ of the airline hit the wall inside the airport premises during the landing procedure of the aircraft. Flight 617 was en route to Lukla from Kathmandu but was diverted to Phaplu Airport due to adverse weather conditions at Lukla.

The investigation of the incident is currently in the process, however; according to the analysis made on the statement from an eye witness, we found both airport and aviation authority to be guilty. Both the authorities are to be blamed for their negligence on the incident on preliminary analysis.

We were reported by a local staff from the airport that an MI-17 helicopter of Shree Airlines was foiled at a parked approximately just 20m from the runway from a month due to a technical error. The Dornier aircraft suffered damage in its wing tip when the crew attempted to avoid collision with the parked MI-17 during landing. Mr. Amrit Kumar Chaurasiya stated that the airport authorities considering the erosion of the soil had approved the airlines to park the chopper so close to the runway.

The parked MI-17 became a serious hazard for Sita Air but the airport authority unaware of the flight diversion could happen weren’t concern for the incident to occur. The officials from Shree Airlines reported that they had received all the required permissions to park MI-17 from the airport authority.

We were also informed that Phaplu Airport has been currently marked as an alternative airport for Lukla and the airport is only capable of holding only an aircraft on its parking. So, being aware of the parking section already been packed by the Mi helicopter on one side and soil erosion causing landslide at the other part how did the aviation and airport authority command the diverted aircraft to the airport.

Analyzing such condition occurring, both the airport and aviation authority should have adopted the safety percussions to stop the incident to occur. Though the aircraft escaped a fatal crash but still both the airport and aviation authorities should learn from their mistakes and needs to be aware and should work on to stop such incident to happen in any other parts.

Like wish, civil aviation authority analyzing the prevailing situation on the airport should need to make a change in their decision for further proceeding. CAAN and airport authority both know about the flow of air traffic in Lukla during the tourism season. In such condition, we worry that busy air traffic can even lead on to collision of aircraft.

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