Ban on afternoon flights at Karnali airport to be lifted following minister's pledge

Published On: August 17, 2023 12:45 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 17: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is set to revoke its decision to prohibit regular passenger and chartered flights and cargo operations at Karnali airport after 12:30 PM, bringing relief to the region's air travel concerns.

Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Sudan Kirati has taken a proactive stance, committing to address the persistent air travel challenges in remote areas, including Karnali, within a span of three days. Minister Kirati conveyed this dedicated resolve during a meeting held with representatives from Karnali province on Wednesday. Air services had been suspended in the Karnali region for a week, prompting heightened concerns.

The ramifications of flight suspension became tragically evident as four children in Humla lost their lives due to the unavailability of timely medical treatment, despite referrals from local hospitals. These heart-wrenching incidents, among others, highlighted the urgency of addressing the air travel predicament.

During a meeting at Singha Durbar, Minister Kirati engaged with Karnali parliamentarians, political leaders, civil society representatives, and stakeholders from the tourism sector. The discourse included Pradeep Adhikari, Director General of CAAN. Notable attendees encompassed figures such as Jumla MP Chhiring Lama, provincial MP Kal Bahadur Hamal, and former ministers Mohan Baniyan, Chakka Bahadur Lama, and Dal Rawal. Devi Krishna Rokaya, president of Karnali Tourism Entrepreneurs Society, was also actively involved.

Former Minister Baniya sternly warned of potent protests should CAAN's leadership fail to repeal the newly imposed regulations promptly. Bhima KC Banjara, a representative of the Maoist center, expressed discontent, asserting that despite repeated appeals, the authority had demonstrated disregard for Karnali province's interests.

Manraj Simkhada, the head of the tourism department of the Maoist center in Karnali province, criticized the Director General for hindering the development of remote regions, including Karnali, and jeopardizing people's well-being. In a candid interaction with Karnali's residents, the Director General aimed to elucidate the rationale behind the introduction of the new regulations. 


Leave A Comment