KATHMANDU, Nepal- Chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), with the new power that the government is delegating him, can even “detain” aircraft. The detention, however, must be guided with the interest of flight and passengers safety.
As per the new provision, that the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has forwarded to the Cabinet for the approval, the director general of CAAN can take the aircraft under his control until necessary measures are adopted to ensure safe flight operations.
If endorsed, the CAAN director general will have the power to “detain” aircraft for the protection of civil aviation if he suspects any unlawful interventions and other threats like natural disasters that could harm passengers as well as the aircraft.
Until now, the CAAN has to consult with the government before taking such an action. Although the Civil Aviation Act 2015 already has the provision, the CAAN director general has not been given such a power.
The Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) conducted in 2009 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), one of the reasons for Nepal’s weaker air safety oversight was the CAAN head not having the power to “detain” aircraft.
“The provision will enhance aviation safety and closes the chapter of one of the major findings pointed out by the ICAO audit,” ministry officials said.
The ICAO audit had pointed out many corrective action plans for Nepal’s civil aviation. And, this was one of the contentious issues among the eight areas of the audit.