Authorities request CIAA to penalize helicopters flying without permission at Annapurna region

Helicopter companies operating their flights at Annapurna Conservation Area without acquiring necessary permissions are going to be penalized as a warrant file has been presented to The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA).

Helicopter operators have been reported flying at the world renowned Annarpurna Circuit area without any permission so, the National Resources and People’s right protection Committee has sought help from CIAA to stop such unauthorized act. The warrant file has been presented at the office of CIAA at Pokhara on Wednesday.

Mostly, helicopter companies are seen operating flights without permission at the Annapurna Conservation Area that includes Annapurna Base Camp, Manang, Jomsom and Lomanthang Conservation Area. Simrik and Prabhu Helicopter are seen more active in conducting unauthorized flights at Annapurna region. Such helicopter companies are claimed to have conducted more then 20 flights per day which is beyond the Conservation Area regulation 2053.

The committee has also reported that the Civil Aviation Authority is also seen inactive in controlling the misconduct. The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has been requested to stop the unnecessary flights except rescue and emergency operations at the Annapurna region.

Earlier, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) had set rules for not allowing helicopter to operate without permission but the companies did not follow the rules. Authorities are planning to give priority to roadways rather than flight operations.

The village authority has also planned to introduce new roadways, enhance existing roadways, and to welcome more visitors.

As Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has cited in their Rule 16 of ACAP Rules, 2053, helicopters are banned in the conservation area without their permission and all the flights at the conservation area, except for the ones for rescue purposes must receive permission from ACAP and pay an amount of NPR 2000/- to carry out their flights.

Thus, ACAP has taken help from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and Civil Aviation Office of Pokhara to prevent such illegal flight activities on the premises of the conservation area from now onward.

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