Process to split CAAN still uncertain

Posted on by Biju Shrestha

Process to amend Nepal Civil Aviation Act has not been completed in last 5 years and government has only been drafting and modifying the act drafts in this period. The delay has now emerged question on Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)’s process to split it into a regulatory body and service provider.

Government has continuously formed new committee member to make new draft for the process however, the work has been sluggish with no positive outcome.

Government has been working on to formulate the new act for past 9 years and the work was started 4 years later.
5 years ago, a draft was presented by Spanish Consultancy Company Ineco at cost of around 4.2 million dollar back then with funding from Asian development bank and it was presented before Ministry of Culture, tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) 2 years later which included work of providing training to employee of CAAN, business plan of the authority, necessary document with CAANs structure etc. was made.

Yet, the government has not implemented the act and just made new-committee member to draft and implement the new act forcing CAAN to operate as it is until it is implemented. This has also led to delay in slitting of CAAN into regulatory body and service provider, bring change in airports aeronautical and non-aeronautical sector, human resource work etc.

Later, new act was drafted under Tourism joint secretary Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane couple of years back stating that the policy made by foreigners was not favorable however it also has not been amended with some source stating the drafted act being politically influenced and it favored the officials only.

The proposed law is set to integrate ‘Civil Aviation Act, 2015 (1959)’ and ‘Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2053 (1996) and replace them.

The new draft was presented by Ineco Company with reference to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit of 2009 and suggestion of ICAO head and European Union to split the regulatory body in 2012. However, delay in formulating the act; delay in splitting CAAN etc. has blacklisted Nepal in EU air safety blacklist till now.

Previously, EU and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had imposed ban on Nepalese carriers from flying in its airspace from 2013 and ICAO had audited and suggested to make improvement a year later and in 2017 ICAO removed Nepal from black list. Yet EU has not still lifted the ban.

EU aviation agency had released press statement on December last year stating about continuity on ban to Nepali carriers citing lack of improvement and also stated that the regulatory body Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) lacked paying attention to security along with delay in splitting of CAAN.

The ban has made direct impact on Nepali carriers specially Flag carrier Nepal airlines (NAC) as they have not been able to operate their recently bought wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft on long haul sector.

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