CAAN technical team has departed to Indian capital New Delhi to hold discussion on proposed Air routes. The team led by CAAN’s air traffic management director Deepak Baral will have discussion with Airport Authority of India (AAI) about the feasibility of the air routes.
CAAN officials will urge about newly proposed routes with Indian Authority to make them effective as soon as possible. Along with Mr. Baral, Director Suresh Man Singh and Deputy Directors Ritcha Sharma and Suwarn Raj Upadhyaya will also have joint discussion over the subject.
Currently in Nepal there is only one single entry point from Simara and there are 7 exit points. Although Mechi and Tumlingtar entry points are also open for planes coming from Lhasa and Bhutan, most common entry checkpoint used is Simara. The single entry point at Simara is a checkpoint for aircraft to make their descent and climb in the Indian airspace following the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and SID (Standard Instrument Departure Route), respectively which is pretty much congested.
India and Nepal have worked on 4 new two-way (incoming as well as outgoing) air entry routes but have hold routes of Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar due to technical issues which the Indian team had stated to examine by last September.
Along with other routes, the 2 routes are very much essential for airspace of Nepal as to aid the operation of airspace of two international airports under construction at Pokhara and Bhairahawa. Otherwise in order to land an international inbound flight in those airports, they would have to fly around 185 km and 300 km extra respectively. This is not reasonable and will considerably increase operating cost of the airlines as stated by Tourism ministry.
Indian authorities had earlier expressed concerns to opening air route via Nepalgunj. Though the Janakpur route is also feasible, citing that the Indian army has set up an air defense base camp where regular fighter jet exercise happens in Gorakhpur India close to Nepalgunj.
CAAN officials are optimistic that the technical committee meeting between the two countries will come up with a clear picture on necessity and prospects of opening new air routes, thereby facilitating both the governments to take the necessary decisions