It’s been a long time, Nepali aviation waiting for the approval to operate scheduled flights to Europe. Aviation sector of Nepal is still in the air safety blacklist of the European Commission (EC) and no progress has been seen yet. Such limitation is the disappointment for Nepalese airlines companies for not being capable to expand its international services.
The technical team of EC has not sent any signal of their arrival to the authority though they promised to come to Nepal on September this year for the assessment of the progress made by the aviation industry of Nepal and also discuss the probability of lifting the long run ban on Nepali carriers and also they were supposed to organize a field report and present it to its technical committee meeting in November. According to that report, the meeting would reach in a conclusion whether Nepal should be removed from the air safety list.
Previously, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) provided some of its reports on progress made by Nepali aviation to the European Commission (EC) for discussing the aviation safety issues of Nepal in a meet at Brussels, Belgium last November. However, EC has not lifted the ban on Nepali Airline operators pointing out the issues in air operating certificate, training and licensing and CAAN’s institutional capacity.
EC has remained disappointment after looking at the operation Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) along with steps of CAAN procuring Airbus A330 widebody on 2018. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) previously removed Nepali carrier from significant safety Concern (SSC).
CAAN is currently functioning as both regulator and service provider with no clear differentiation over their duties and responsibilities. Civil Aviation Minister Rabindra Adhikari had promised to complete the process to split the CAAN by enacting draft Integrated Civil Aviation Bill last June but no progress was seen. While the service provider (CAAN) will be responsible for licensing and regulating aviation professionals and pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers, airlines and aerodromes, the service provider will be responsible for airport management, terminal management, ground handling, airport security, rescue and firefighting, airport infrastructure development, airport fee and tax collection and air traffic control.
EC banned Nepali carriers preventing them from flying to Europe’s Air Space. ICAO had suggested splitting CAAN to make the aviation sector more efficient and the government has been working to amend the new law for about a decade now.