CAAN to set fare standard for helicopter operation in Nepal

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), aviation regulatory authority has planned to set charter flights’ fare for the helicopter company. Due to lack of government standards, Nepali helicopter companies had been charging irregular helicopter fare.

Sanjeev Gautam, Director General of the Authority stated that the authority received report on the Fake rescue investigation conducted by the government and now is in the process of implementing fare standards.

Gautam said that the flight fare of helicopters companies will be finalized after discussing with Air Operator Association. Authorities will also be asked for the further investigation on the Probe committee report.

The action will be taken straightly to helicopter companies if the flight numbers differ from insurance claims in the log book.

Probe committee formed by the government investigated in 7,556 rescue flights operated by 10 helicopter companies from 2015 to 2018. The investigation department found 3 helicopters companies: Manang Air, Air Dynasty and Heli Everest guilty. According to the revenue leakage (Research and Control) Act, 2052, the team has also recommended Department of Revenue Investigation Department to carry out an appropriate action with the proper investigation.

The investigation department submitted the application to Rabindra Adhikari, Minister of Culture, and Tourism and Civil aviation (MoCTCA) on 30th July 2018.

Probe team has requested; Tourism ministry, Home ministry, Prime Minister Department, Rastra Bank, Revenue Investigation Department, Health Ministry and Municipality Police department and other ministries to take action against 15 organizations: Manang air, Air dynasty, Heli Everest, Himalaya Social Journey, Mountain rescue, Kailash Chartered, Easy Heli, Eagle heli, Flight connection, Alpine Rescue, Moutain heli, Bayodha hospital, Swagan Hospital, New era Hospital, Ciwic Hospital.

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has scrutinized 7 more helicopter companies as being suspected of being involved in the fake rescue racket and defrauding tourists in collusion with various hospitals. The original report recommended further investigation into Air Dynasty, Manang Air, and Heli Everest saying that these companies charge the high price for flights from tourists. CAAN has now started a new investigation which includes Summit Helicopter, Prabhu Helicopter, Kailash Helicopter, Shree Airlines, Simrik Air, Altitude Air, and Mountain Helicopter.

This fact- finding committee has recommended Nepal Police to be given the responsibility of monitorig such tourists rescue operations from this September 2018 to mitigate any of such insurance scams in future that has damaged the country’s reputation.

It is widely believed that Government’s action to stop the Heli Rescue Scam will boost the travelers’ confident to visit Nepal with proper insurance at its best cost thus the country will be able to meet its target to welcome 2 million travelers on the Visit Nepal year of 2020.

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