Documents on air safety improvements submitted to EU delegation

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 15, 2017-

The government on Wednesday formally submitted documents related to the air safety improvements that Nepal has made to the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal requesting it to remove Nepali airlines from the blacklist of the European Commission (EC). 

The documents prepared by the Tourism Ministry were handed over by Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi to Rensje Teerink, the European Union Ambassador to Nepal, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. 

The EC imposed a blanket ban on all airlines from Nepal from flying into the 28-nation bloc in December 2013.

Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat had requested EC President Jean-Claude Juncker to remove Nepali airlines from its air safety list during their meeting in Brussels recently, stating that Nepal had made significant progress in aviation safety. 

During the meeting, President Juncker said they would look into the matter positively after studying the information provided by the government of Nepal.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan), they have updated the information sent to the International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) two months ago. 

On the occasion, Teerink said that the documents submitted by the Nepal government would be forwarded to the EC soon, and expressed confidence that Nepali airlines would be removed from the blacklist, the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

“Removal of Nepali airlines from the blacklist will significantly contribute to the growth of Nepal’s tourism.” 

Unsatisfied with Nepal’s progress, the UN aviation watchdog had given the SSC tag to Nepal’s aviation sector in its audit report in August 2013. 

It had given a red flag on ‘operations’, among the eight critical elements of safety oversight, due to the large number of aircraft accidents and incidents between 2009 and 2012 when there were at least two passenger aircraft crashes annually. 

In July 2013, an Icao mission visited Nepal to validate the corrective measures taken by the country to address the deficiencies pointed out by the global aviation watchdog in 2009. 

The mission carried out an on-site audit from July 10-16. Following Icao’s action, the EC had also put all Nepali airlines in its safety list. 

Caan said that it had addressed almost all the deficiencies pointed out by the Icao audit in 2013, and expressed confidence that Nepal would be removed from the safety list. 

Published: 15-03-2017 20:32

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