KATHMANDU, Nepal- The government is all set to add up the wings of national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation with Chinese-made MA60 aircrafts. The possibilities of the Chinese aircrafts entering Nepal has gain the height after the government decided to issue the type certificate to the former for the first time.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) last Tuesday formally decided to award the type certificate to Chinese MA60 aircraft.
A type certificate is a regulating body’s approval, given to a manufacturing design that cannot be changed. It reflects a determination made by the regulating body that the aircraft is manufactured according to an approved design, and that the design ensures compliance with airworthiness requirements.
“We will officially issue the certificate to the Chinese aircraft after Dashain- the major festival of Nepal which is just 15 days away,” CAAN Director General Ratish Chandra Lal Suman told Nepal Mountain Focus.
The CAAN reached the decision to issue the certificate following the Type Certification Board submitted its report to Nepal’s aviation regulating body earlier this week.
The board led by former CAAN deputy director general Shambu Adhikari had in its report recommended that Modern Ark 60 aircraft was fit for Nepali skies with “its reliable technical and other capabilities.”
China has pledged providing a 19-seater Harbin Y-12e and a 58- seater MA60 turboprop in grant while the Nepali government has also planned to purchase four other aircraft, three Harbin Y-12e and a MA60, by taking soft loans from the Chinese EXIM Bank.
The board, assigned to verify the design and manufacturing standards of the jet, prepared its report following the two-week long visit to China. The report said that the aircraft has been made keeping the checklist, which the planemaker had submitted to CAAN earlier, intact.
AVIC International Holding, the maker of MA60 planes, had applied for the type certificate earlier in March this year. However, the CAAN had not responded to the applicant stating that the issuance of type certificate was a “serious job” and “needed rigorous exercises.”
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal sources said once the CAAN issues type certificate, the government will initiate final homeworks to purchase aircraft from the northern neighbor.
On Aug. 7, 2011, NAC had written to the Finance Ministry, requesting it to purchase eight aircraft with foreign grants. In November 2011, the ministry requested China to provide the aircraft either under grant or soft loans. The Chinese side responded positively, expressing their readiness to provide some aircraft under grant and some under soft loans.