KATHMANDU, Nepal- As the airline companies and their regulating body failed to give proper attention to the safety of air passenger, the aviation sector of the country is likely to be included in blacklist by the international monitoring agencies.
The European Union has hinted to include the country’s aviation sector in its blacklist. And if such happens, all the airlines of the country may be banned from operating their flights to the countries of the EU.
“There are not any bases to be contented on the air safety,” the EU has written in its letter to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) warning the air regulation body in the country to ban all its internal companies to fly within the EU zone, a source at CAAN said. The EU had sent the letter to CAAN in the last week of September.
To avert the possible risk of ban, the Nepali authority now has to convince the EU of adequate security measures. The CAAN and all the representaitves of the domestic airline companies have to brief the aviation safety in Nepal to the meeting of the aviation safety committee of the EU scheduled for third week of November. “If they were not convinced all or any particular domestic airline company will have to face the EU ban,” the CAAN source said, adding, “We are now at the monitoring and evaluation stage of the EU.”
The EU, in its report published in July had said that if the results of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) audit or any other relevant safety information indicate that air safety risks in Nepal are not adequately contained, the union would be forced to take action against Nepal in accordance with regulation (EU) No 2111/2005. It, however, had said that it will wait for the results of an audit by the ICAO before completing its assessment of the safety situation in Nepal.
ICAO’s report on Nepal’s aviation safety status was published on August in which the international monitoring body has cautioned Nepal for taking majors to improve passengers’ safety. However, the EU was not much convinced to the report of the ICAO.
The audit showed that the CAAN was not capable of ensuring effective implementation of international safety standards.
It had pointed out weakness in the areas of air operations, airworthiness and accident investigation, primary aviation legislation and civil aviation regulations, civil aviation organization and personnel licensing and training.
CAAN had invited ICAO’s coordination and validation mission to Nepal this July to validate the corrective measures Nepal has adopted to address and resolve deficiencies the ICAO had pointed out in 2009. The mission carried out an on-site audit from July 10-16.
The commission in its report said that five fatal accidents involving a number of EU citizens have occurred in Nepal involving Nepal registered aircraft over a period of two years (August 2010 – September 2012). In addition, there were three more accidents in 2013.
Meanwhile, a report by Kantipur daily published Saturday said that the reason behind EU’s concern is the decision of CAAN to give permission to buy China-made MA60 aircrafts for Nepal Airlines Corporation. The daily referring its source at CAAN further reported that the “Union has been monitoring the developments since the very beginning. It has also advised the Nepali side not to certify MA60 during informal meetings. But the CAAN was compelled to authorize the turboprop planes in political pressure.” The CAAN on October 23 has issued type certificate to Chinese-made MA60 aircraft, allowing the plane to enter the Nepali skies for the first time for civilian transport.
What may be the reason, if the EU issued prohibitory orders against the Nepali aviation sector that will hamper the country’s tourism sector a lot. However, the final result will be known on November last.
According to a recent list of the EU, it has recently banned airlines of Ghana, Afghanistan, Republic of Angola, Benin, Congo, Guyana, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Sudan, Leon, Philippines among other nations in the EU zone for not abiding to the continuous warnings by the union.