•      Thu Feb 29 2024

Ten Years On: European sky still unavailable for Nepali airlines

Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN)

Kathmandu, Nov 30: The European Union (EU) has continued its ban on Nepali airlines’ service. The EU on Wednesday sent a letter to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and said that its skies are still not open for Nepali aircrafts. The ban remains in effect since the past 10 years.

Speaking at a press conference held on Thursday to inform about a report released by the EU technical team that made a field assessment of Nepali aviation service, CAAN Director General Pradeep Adhikari said that the ban on Nepali aircrafts has not been lifted based on the report what was released following the hearing held in Brussels on November 14.

The EU technical team had conducted an on-site study and status assessment of the CAAN, the Nepal Airlines Corporation and Shree Airlines in Nepal.

The report pointed out the institutional weaknesses of the Nepal Airlines Corporation and suggested comprehensive reforms in its leadership, procedures and overall system of the corporation. The NAC has been charged of not complying with the Safety Management System (SMS), not improving the deficiencies pointed out by the CAAN in its annual audit, not improving the quality of the inspection list, serious weaknesses in certainty of flight timings, management of flight documents and implementation of recommendations.

Although the Nepal government’s efforts to get out of the EU blacklist have been appreciated by the report, the political leadership has been urged to play a constructive role. The EU has expressed its commitment to provide continuous assistance and support for the improvement of Nepal’s air safety.