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. Ministry is preparing to present the draft at Council of Minister to get it passed.
Process to amend Nepal Civil Aviation Act had not been completed in last 5 years and government had only been drafting and modifying the act drafts in this period and now new law is set to be drafted so as to split CAAN into a regulatory body and service provider.
Currently CAAN is working both as regulatory body and service provider and government is set to split CAAN however staffs of CAAN are against as it will effect in some services yet, Ministry secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota states that it is unnecessary to be against it. The law has been drafted according to international practice and interest, he added.
CAAN Director General Rajan Pokhrel stated that the priority should be given to Air safety and stated that the process to split CAAN is under ICAO.
ICAO previously removed Nepali carrier from significant safety Concern (SSC) however Nepal is still under European Union (EU) blacklist with lack of progress in making a law to split CAAN and other safety concerns.
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.
EU aviation agency had released press statement on December last year stating about continuity on ban to Nepali carriers citing lack of improvement and also stated that the regulatory body Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) lacked paying attention to security along with delay in splitting of CAAN.
Government has been working on to formulate the new act for past 9 years and the work was started 4 years later.
Around 5 years ago, a draft was presented by Spanish Consultancy Company Ineco at cost of around 4.2 million dollar back then with funding from Asian development bank and it was presented before Ministry of Culture, tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) 2 years later which included work of providing training to employee of CAAN, business plan of the authority, necessary document with CAANs structure etc. was made. However, the act has not been implemented forcing CAAN to operate as it is until it is implemented.
The proposed law is set to integrate ‘Civil Aviation Act, 2015 (1959)’ and ‘Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2053 (1996) and replace them.
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.