Six employees held responsible for NAC flight to Dubai cancellation

Committee formed to probe NAC flight cancellation has recommended to take action against six employees for national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC)’s flight cancellation case.

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) had formed a 5 member committee under Buddhisagar Lamichhane, Joint Secretary of Ministry to investigate on the flight cancellation.

The team has recommended to take action against 2 officials from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and 4 officials of NAC for not being able to handle the situation.

The team has recommended to take action against 2 CAAN officials working at Air Traffic Controller tower, 2 corporation officials working at the airport and 2 other officers of the corporation who were on duty.

The investigation team directed to take action against CAAN officials for not doing effective coordination though being in such responsible and critical job and against 2 NAC officials for not taking immediate action to manage the passengers on-board and other 2 officials for not being able to coordinate to bring aircraft from hanger to parking bay.

On April 2, NAC wide-body airbus A330 with call sign ‘9N-ALZ’ ‘Makalu’ flight with more than 170 passengers on-board which was ready to take off to Dubai was cancelled at final moment after the Air Traffic Controller didn’t let for push-back of the aircraft as the airport was about to close for renovation work.

The aircraft under Captain Shrawan Rijal was ready for flight with all necessary preparation completed and was ready to take off, but he ATC halted the aircraft as Dragon Air was also scheduled for flight. Dragon Air took off at 9:57 PM and when NAC asked for Push-back, the ATC denied stating closure of the airport.

The aircraft pilot asked around 4 minutes of time for flight as all the passenger were boarded and all necessary preparation was done but the ATC denied for the flight.

The flight cancellation also agitated the passenger on-board and most passengers did not leave the aircraft seeking compensation. The airlines airport manager and police official requested the passenger and succeeded to disembark passenger nearly 8 hours later.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAAN) Airport office stated that Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was already published months ago and letting flight to operate at the time will lead to violation of law thus had not allowed for flight operation. And being black listed in European Union (EU) and violating the law would create more issue stated the official.

However, couple of day’s back, Fly Dubai Boeing 737 with call sign FDB574 which was scheduled to depart at 8:40 PM departed at 10:17 PM from TIA to Dubai International Airport (DXB) though the airport closes at 10 PM from April 1 as stated by CAAN.

The recent incident of Fly Dubai raised question over flight cancellation of the flag carrier and flight operation of an international carrier beyond the time.

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