European Commission invites CAAN to address safety progress

European Commission (EC) has invited Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) officials in Brussels, Belgium in January to explain its progress in safety issues, less than a week after the EC blacklisted Nepali airline operators successively.

CAAN officials are positive and said that the proposed meeting in Brussels could be decisive as Nepal could strongly show the progress made to address the safety deficiencies pointed out by the EC four years ago. Also they will request to remove the ban against Nepali Airlines. The EC had imposed operational ban on all airlines from Nepal from entering European airspace in December 2013.

According to information officer of CAAN Mr. Trilochan Poudyal , “Director General and Deputy Director General from CAAN will head towards Brussels to attend the meeting and discuss about the safety concerns by EC.”

The European Union (EU) updated its blacklist chart on November 30 this year in which Nepali Aviation is once again enlisted. CAAN had sent some reports on progress made by the Nepali aviation to the European Commission however, EC has not lifted ban on Nepali Airline operators pointing out the issues in air operating certificate, training and licensing, aircraft accident investigation and CAAN’s institutional capacity.

The EC has been raising safety concerns over Nepal related to the aircraft accident so, the commission could ask CAAN officials to present the progress made in establishing an independent aircraft accident investigation department.

The government has also begun work to establish an independent aircraft accident investigation body which was one of the key concerns raised by the EC, as part of international obligations to improve aviation safety and prevent accidents in the future.

Aviation industry of Nepal was delighted to get rid of red flag from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as the Significant Safety Concern (SSC) issued to Nepal during ICAO Coordinate Validation Mission (ICVM) in July 2013 was resolved. And now more commitment is required from the authority and airline operators to escape the European Union (EU) blacklist.

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