The meeting between technical officials of Nepal and India regarding the feasibility of adding new air routes between the two countries is expected to yield a positive and fruitful result as the two-day meet ends today.
The cross-border airspace issues prevailing over the last 5 years will be sorted out through the meet that will end today. Official from the discussion team informed that the meeting is going on effectively and some positive decisions is expected by today.
Member of Air Navigation Services and board member of Airport Authority of India (AAI) Mr. Anil Kumar Dutta is leading the six-member Indian technical team whereas for Nepal, Deputy Director General of Air Navigation Services Directorate of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is leading the Nepali team.
In Thursday’s talk, the AAI officials presented on satellite based navigation systems highlighting the requirement for strengthening regional airspace cooperation.
Director of Air Traffic Management at CAAN said that Nepal has proposed AAI to open up air entry points from Nepalgunj and Janakpur in the ongoing discussions.
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.