UNESCO suggests wildlife conservation dept. to control helicopter flights at Khumbu region

Posted on by Pinkey Rai

United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have suggested National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department to control helicopter flight operations at Khumbu Region.

There has been a serious impact on the life cycle of protected wildlife due to operating helicopter in Khumbu area at lower level neglecting the criteria which result disturbance in wildlife and even their death.

According to UNESCO, due to haphazard helicopter operation and landing in the Khumbu areas, it affect the daily life of wild animals at Sagarmatha National Park area and Sagarmatha area which are listed in World Heritage Sites.

As per the statistics from Lukla Airport, around 15-20 helicopters operates in Khumbu areas daily resulting over 110 landings. However, there is no record of helicopters landing at Phakding, Namche, Hotel Everest, Dibhunche, Feriche, Gorshep, Chukung and others areas above Lukla.

According to Climber Lhakpa Sherpa, helicopters land over 50 times daily at upper Khumbu on the season of mountaineering. He also said that due to lack of appropriate rules for helicopters for landing, it has been threatening the life cycle of wildlife.

UNESCO has directed to formulate the system for helicopter operations. As per the information, the department has initiated to make rules of heli-operations and has also planned to charge Rs 5000 per helicopter landing. Ram Krishna Subedi from Home Ministry and the Ministry of Forest and Environment, Civil Aviation Union of private area committee have been formed to create a new rules for the helicopter operations.

In 1982, UNESCO listed Khumbu area in World Heritage whereas in 1976, UNESCO announced Khumbu area as National park.

Simrik Air, Mountain Helicopter, Kailash Helicopter, Altitude Air, Air Dynasty, Prabhu Helicopter, Fishtail Air, Heli Everest and Manang Air and 26 business companies have been operating helicopter flights at the Khumbu region.

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Pinkey Rai