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Nepal Mountain Focus

(English) Ban chopper rides on Everest: Ministry directs CAAN

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Mt. Everest, file photo.
Mt. Everest, file photo.

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Tourism Ministry has formally instructed the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) not to allow chopper ride above the Base Camp of Mount Everest and other peaks in the country.

Issuing a circulator, the Ministry asked CAAN, a regulatory aviation body in the country to strictly control illegal helicopter flights above all the peaks. Along with the Ministry’s instruction, any chopper companies should seek approval from CAAN as per the existing rules and regulations before making flights on the mountain regions.

The Ministry has also issued a number of directives to the CAAN, instructing the latter to strictly follow up and regulate the helicopter flights at the high altitude areas in Mt Everest region.

Ministry’s directives came after the reports about Chinese Mountaineer Wang Jing, 41, reportedly used chopper to go Camp II to avoid risky route triggered by Everest Avalanche. Though the government has formally awarded Wang with International Mountaineer Year, he ascent has drawn criticism in the mountaineering sectors.

Critics said the government took Wang’s summit as a special case to prove to the rest of the world that there was no black year on Everest following April 18 avalanche.

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