DG Pokhrel meets with German Ambassador; discussion on Air safety

Newly elected Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and German Ambassador to Nepal Roland Schäfer held meeting on Wednesday at CAAN head office in Babarmahal.

During the meeting, both the delegate talked on air safety topic.

In the meeting, DG Pokhrel asked Ambassador Schäfer about delay in removing Nepal from European Union blacklist although years have passed. Ambassador Schäfer replied that the topic is not only related with airlines operating to Germany thus he can help to sort out the problem however not completely resolve it.

DG Pokhrel also expressed dismay about Nepal being enlisted in blacklist alongside Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya etc.

Due to the weakness of physical infrastructure and unmanaged laws in the air security, EU has still decided to keep Nepal in blacklist. Also, while the EU has said that Nepal should keep the Authority (CAAN) separately from the service provider and should be kept as a regulatory body.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) previously removed Nepali carrier from significant safety Concern (SSC).

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has prepared draft for new law to split Civil Aviation authority of Nepal (CAAN) into 2 entities and is preparing to present the draft at Council of Minister to get it passed.

Previously, EU and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had imposed ban on Nepalese carriers from flying in its airspace from 2013 and ICAO had audited and suggested to make improvement a year later and in 2017 ICAO removed Nepal from black list. Yet EU has not still lifted the ban.

In 2013, ICAO’s team audit showed 55 per cent of Nepal’s flight safety. In 2017, the flight safety criteria also increased to 67 percent. The average global rate is 63 percent.

CAAN is currently functioning as both regulator and service provider with no clear differentiation over their duties and responsibilities.

While the service provider (CAAN) will be responsible for licensing and regulating aviation professionals and pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers, airlines and aerodromes, the service provider will be responsible for airport management, terminal management, ground handling, airport security, rescue and firefighting, airport infrastructure development, airport fee and tax collection and air traffic control.

The ban has made direct impact on Nepali carriers specially Flag carrier Nepal airlines (NAC) as they have not been able to operate their recently bought wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft on long haul sector.

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