Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has implemented new Heli-lanes inside Kathmandu. The Heli-lanes are built for arrival and departure of helicopter inside the capital city maintaining specified height and route which doesn’t overlap over security sensitive area.
CAAN implemented new routes that doesn’t overlap 2 main security sensitive area; Presidential Residence (Rastrapati Bhavan) and Nepalese Army’s arms storing area in Gathhaghar, Bhaktapur both while entering and exiting.
Rajan Pokhrel, Deputy Director General of CAAN stated that new Heli-lanes are implemented with purpose to reduce air traffic as the lanes will not affect routes for domestic and international routes as well as to contribute on air safety within the capital.
According to new lane, Helicopter taking off from Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) should use Sanga and Nala in east. For now, these two area has been added whereas other old lanes are unchanged.
Currently, the new lanes are being used for trial and after around a month and further improvements will be done by taking suggestions from Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), Pilots, helicopter company and others and the new lane route will be implemented after 1 month if no suggestions or modification are suggested.
Currently, aircrafts can fly above 1000 feet from presidential residence and 1600 feet above Army’s storing area while no helicopter can fly above both the area.
The new Heli-Lanes will permit the Helicopter traffic to fly below 6500 ft. Presently, all the departing helicopters are required to maintain 4600 ft till crossing Take-Off/ landing path then follow respective Heli-Lane altitude.
Currently, there are eight Heli-lanes existing at Kathmandu named with BAGMATI (Bravo & Kilo), BHAKTAPUR, CHANGU, GOKARNA, MAIJU, SITAPAILA, THANKOT and TOKHA (Bravo & Kilo).
The Authority had split the existing Bhakatapur and Changu Heli-Lane into two and has opened the suspended Sitapaila Heli-Lane carefully avoiding the restricted area. The Bhaktapur Heli-Lane is divided into two Bhakta Sanga and Bhakta Nala while Changu into Changu Kartike and Changu Nagarkot. The Bhakta Sanga and Changu Nagarkot are expected to be used for inbound Helicopter traffic while the other Bhakta Nala and Changu Kartike for the outbound Helicopter traffic from TIA. The authorities had also made two Holding points for the helicopters on east Mulpani and towards west Chabahil Bridge maintaining 5000 ft.