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(English) European experts in town to study country’s air safety situation

Airplanes of Nepali domestic airline companies at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Photo: File photo
Airplanes of Nepali domestic airline companies at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Photo: File photo

KATHMANDU, Nepal – A high level team of experts from the European Commission (EC) has arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday to carry out a thorough study of the air safety situation here.

In a week long Nepal stay the team will initiate their safety assessment study of Nepal’s domestic air carriers in Nepal.

The team has come Nepal to follow up the aviation safety measures that the government has adopted as suggested by the Ordinated Validation Missions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).    .

The EC experts met government and private sector aviation stakeholders on Sunday to discuss the same.

On December 5, the EC banned Nepali air carriers from flying into or within the European Union.

At that time it also asked European operators and travel agents to inform European travellers about the ban so that they can decide not to use Nepali airline companies to fly into Nepal.

Country office of European Union here has earlier said that the mission is visiting the country to know the situation after the government wrote the commission clarifying that it has given high priority to the aviation safety and compelled to implement the security measures strictly.

According to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) officials, the experts would carry out the thorough study of the aviation sector here and see whether the changes were made as claimed by the authority. After the EU blacklist Nepali aviation sector the CAAN had carried out security investigations and had also implemented the recommendations apart from revising the aviation rules and regulations and evaluation of the airline companies that had acquired license for operating the airlines.

The mission will observe the reforms made by CAAN as per the recommendations made by the Commission including delegation of  airline holding authority to the director general of CAAN, implementation of systematic aviation safety measures and duties of the airline companies, installment of equipment that check hazards caused by birds and animals among others.

The team will submit its final report of the study to the EC headquarters Feb 14 which will then be forwarded to the meeting of the EC’s Aviation Security Committee due to be held on March 2628 in Brussels. The meeting will decide whether to delist Nepali domestic aviation sector from its ban list. Though there are no Nepali domestic airline companies that operate schedule flights to Europe, fear of reputation and the EU call to its citizens not to use Nepali domestic airlines even in Nepal have threatened them.

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