The technical team of CAAN led by CAAN’s air traffic management director Deepak Baral that departed to Indian capital New Delhi last week to hold discussion on proposed Air routes with Airport Authority of India (AAI) has returned as meeting was unsuccessful.
Indian Authority agreed to open new air routes around 3 months ago but now backed up stating defense issue as Indian army has set up their defense camp. Though the AAI showed negative response, a CAAN official stated that they have not backed up completely from the decision.
Prime ministers of both the countries discussed on the feasibility of routes 6 months ago and the civil aviation officials of both countries held meeting around a month later and agreed on the additional 4 routes. But in the recent meeting with the Indian official, they have shown negative response thus CAAN officials have stated that a new meeting of Prime Minister level is required.
The officials also stated that Indian authority are also willing to help on the routes but due to Indian military defense base set up below the airspace of new air route where jet planes operate frequently, the Indian authority hesitated to agree on the route immediately.
India and Nepal have worked on 4 new two-way (incoming as well as outgoing) air entry routes. Previously also they have hold routes of Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar due to provision of Indian Air defense camp. CAAN’s air traffic management director Deepak Baral, Director Suresh Man Singh and Deputy Directors Ritcha Sharma and Suwarna Raj Upadhyaya visited Indian official last week to work on the topic.
Presently, in Nepal there is only one single entry point from Simara and there are 7 exit points. Although Mechi and Tumlingtar entry points are also open for planes coming from Lhasa and Bhutan, most common entry checkpoint used is Simara. The single entry point at Simara is a checkpoint for aircraft to make their descent and climb in the Indian airspace following the STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) and SID (Standard Instrument Departure Route), respectively which is pretty much congested.