New law to split Caan for greater efficiency

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
New law to split Caan for greater efficiency

Sep 10, 2014-

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) has been working on a new law so that it can be split into two entities to facilitate stringent enforcement of safety measures following criticism over its weaknesses on this front from global aviation bodies.

Caan has been planned to be broken up into regulator and service provider. The proposed new Civil Aviation Act 2014 has been prepared by a Spanish consultancy Ineco with Asian Development Bank funding of $ 4.2 million.

The draft act, which has been submitted to Caan, will replace two existing acts, Civil Aviation Act 1959 and Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Act 1996.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme has recommended that Caan be split to make the aviation sector more efficient. Caan has been functioning both as a regulator and service provider from the same office, and there is no clear demarcation between its duty and organisational structure at present.

The new act will integrate the previous acts to eliminate conflicts and contradictions between Caan and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, a situation that has been slammed in safety audits conducted by global aviation bodies.

“A new act has become necessary as per the changing context as the old laws do not cover critical issues for all safety oversight,” said a senior Caan official. Besides, they do not provide a clear legal basis for inspection, regulation and certification in Nepal’s civil aviation industry as pointed out by Icao and other aviation bodies.

“The existing acts have many problems that have prevented delivery of enhanced safety and improvement of the civil aviation sector.”

Caan has asked for feedback from experts on the draft act. After inserting their input, it will be presented to the Caan board and then sent to its line ministry. The draft will then go to the Law Ministry and finally the Cabinet for its okay. The proposed act has recommended granting more power to Caan and its head.

Icao has grave concerns about Nepal’s air safety, and has placed it among the 12 worst performing nations in the world, which are Botswana, Kazakhstan, Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Angola, Djibouti, Eritrea, Haiti, Lebanon, Malawi and Papua New Guinea, said an Icao report.

Nepal has been red-flagged on “operations” among the eight critical elements. In August 2013, Icao identified a significant safety concern with respect to Nepal’s ability to properly oversee the airlines under its jurisdiction.

On December 5, 2013, the European Commission (EC) had put Nepal on the European Union (EU) air safety list as it found it lacking the ability to oversee aviation safety issues.

Caan has said that it is ready to send its report on the improvements carried out in the aviation sector to the EC to urge it to lift the ban on Nepali airlines.

The EC has given Caan a deadline of September 15 to submit the report.

The EC’s Aviation Safety Committee meeting scheduled for November will reassess the report and decide whether the ban on Nepali carriers to fly within the EU should be withdrawn.

Published: 11-09-2014 09:43

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