Ministry rules out Air Sports Operator Certificate in Pokhara

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KATHMANDU, Nepal-The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) has eventually ruled out the request made by new companies applying for Air Sports Operator Certificate (ASOC) in Pokhara.

The Ministry rejected their request citing traffic congestion in tourist hub city Pokhara. All together, six companies had applied for the ASOC to operate aviation sports.

‘Due to the congested air traffic we have asked the new companies to seek alternative destination,’ Suresh Acharya, an official at the Ministry said.

According to Flight Safety Standard Department in Kathmandu, currently 20 aviation sport operators are carrying out their service across the country and most of them are Pokhara based. Two of them also operate flights in Bandipur while one carries out flight in Syangja.

Officials at the Ministry informed that 100 paragliding flights are made from Sarangkot each day. In the meantime, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is learnt to have studying whether or not Sarangkot can accommodate more flights.

CAAN has also received dozens of application from companies based in Kathmandu, Surkhet, Syangja, Tanahu among other places seeking license to carry out paragliding flights. However, officials of Flight Safety Standards Department said it is not practical to conduct paragliding in Kathmandu due to increased pollution and air traffic congestion.

Earlier Kathmandu Paragliding and Hang Gliding used to conduct flight from Bishankhu Narayan of Lalitpur, however, CAAN directed to halt the operation citing the same route was by aircraft landing at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). At last the company couldn’t continue the service though the CAAN changed it route.

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