EU ban on Nepali airlines now questionable: Bhattarai
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu Aug. 16: The government has expressed its serious concerns over the continuity of the ban imposed by the European Union (EU) to the Nepali airlines on the sky of Europe even two years after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) removed Nepal from its serious safety concerns.
Although the decision of EU to impose a ban on the Nepali airlines in its sky had come after the decision of the ICAO to put Nepal in serious safety concerns, the EU has not removed the ban even after the removal of the safety concerns by the ICAO.
Releasing ‘Aviation Safety Report 2019’ published by the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) on Thursday, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said that continuity of EU ban had now been questionable.
“We have made massive improvement to address the concernss raised by the ICAO and EU regarding their safety concerns. Now it is our turn to ask questions over the continuity of the EU’s ban on the Nepali airlines,” Minister Bhattarai said.
Minister Bhattarai said that the he had started asking ambassadors of the European countries why they were not lifting the ban when Nepal has gained 67 points in safety index, higher than the average world aviation security level.
The government has taken this issue very seriously, he said, adding that he would take initiative to remove the ban in coordination with organisations working with EU.
There are no rationales behind this punishment as most of the accidents in Nepal were caused by human weaknesses and bad weather rather than the weaknesses of the regulatory authority, Minister Bhattarai said.
He also directed the airlines operators not to compromise with the safety concerns.
“We have made improvement in most of the 18 questions raised by EU,” said Rajan Pokharel, Director General of the CAAN.
Of late, the EU is raising the concerns over the division of CAAN into two organisations - service provider and regulatory authority for which the government has already started process, he said.
The safety reports showed that the number of accidents had significantly declined in the period of 2010 to 2018. A total of 36 people had died in two plane accidents in 2010 but the number of death is two in 2018.
The report, however, showed that the number of accidents of fixed wing aircraft were on the rise during the review period.
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