Annapurna Gaunpalika (village development authority) has decided to restrict helicopter takeoff and landings at the Annapurna Conservation Area due to increased threat to the wildlife. Helicopter operation at the conservation site threatens wildlife with the excessive sound and vibrations produced thus, compelling to create a flee situation for animals.
In the meantime, the Gandaki State government is planning to construct one helipad in every village with the objective of attracting 2 million tourists by 2022. However, the helicopter operation is expected to be prohibited at the region.
Officials of the Gaunpalika stated that the fourth board meeting has decided to ban helicopter operation as it adversely affects daily lifestyle of wildlife.
Helicopter companies will be informed related to prohibition of heli operations at the region. Necessary actions will be taken if operators don’t follow the rule. He also informed that this step was taken for nature conservation.
Annapurna Conservation Area
Earlier, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) had set rules for not allowing helicopter to operate without permission but the companies did not follow the rules. Authorities are planning to give priority to roadways rather than flight operations.
The village authority has also planned to introduce new roadways, enhance existing roadways, and to welcome more visitors.
Annapurna Conservation Area Trek route
The decision made by the Annapurna Gaunpalika will be implemented from September. United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has been showing concern towards the increasing threat of helicopter operations in the wildlife conservation areas.
UNESCO recently suggested National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department to control helicopter flight operations at Khumbu Region. There has been a serious impact on the life cycle of protected wildlife due to operating helicopter in Khumbu area at lower level neglecting the criteria which result disturbance in wildlife and even their death. UNESCO has also directed to formulate the system for helicopter operations.