Meeting between Nepal & India for new air routes starts from today

The meeting will be conducted between Nepal and India regarding the new air entrance point from today. Representatives of both countries are expected to hold a new consensus within Saturday.

Last month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told Nepal to discuss the issue of a new air route.

A team of Indian Civil Aviation Authority officials have reached to Nepal for the talks on Wednesday. Until the new air route is approved, Nepal is forced to enter all the aircraft from Simara coming from East and West. After four years of negotiations, the Indian side had agreed to open the Nepalgunj route immediately.

However, the two parties have said that they would prepare a technical report and re-negotiate, but the route has not yet been opened.

Nepal has requested India to provide air Route of Janakpur, Nepalgunj and Bhairahawa.

The Nijgadh airport, Pokhara Regional International Airport and Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA) which are under construction requires new air routes for operation. Currently, only one air route is open from Simara. Last year, the agreement was signed out to provide air routes from Mahindranagar. Unfortunately, the agreement has not yet been implemented.

The Indian side has not yet approved the demand for the arrival of the aircraft coming from the eastern countries to Janakpur and Biratnagar for entry. Similarly, Nepal has asked Nepalgunj entry point with the Indian side for the aircraft coming from the western country.

Presently, all airlines connecting the sole international airport of Nepal, Tribhuvan International Airport only authorized to use the southern Simara route (SMR) as an entry point to Nepal, aircraft have 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 has been pretty much congested making the airspace paltry.

Nepal had asked India formally to open the new cross-border air routes during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s to Kathmandu in 2014 and it was also on the agenda during his May 11 visit. The proposed bi-directional or incoming and outgoing air routes will facilitate the operation of international flights from the under construction airports i.e. Bhairahawa, Pokhara and Nijgadh.

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