KATHMANDU, Aug 20: The 56th Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Conference was inaugurated in Kathmandu on Monday, in the presence of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, and Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Rajan Pokhrel, among other delegates from different countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Oli said that Nepal is not only beautiful but is also resourceful in many ways. Pointing out on the importance of regional connectivity, he said: "We are ready to work together with ICAO and request ICAO and all the stakeholders of the aviation sector to work together."
Tourism Minister Bhattarai said that the number of air passengers is growing in the world and is expected to double in the next 20 years.
"Asia pacific is a major region for air traffic. In the case of Nepal also, the trend of the past 10 years shows increasing air traffic," he said, adding, "To cope with the growth rate, Nepal has initiated some major projects related to infrastructure development and improvement of the air navigation system.”
Bhattarai mentioned the shortage of qualified technical personnel for aircraft operation and said that safety was one of the major global challenges in the aviation sector.
The five-day conference is being hosted by Nepal for the third time with the theme of “Harmonizing Efforts to Meet Capacity Constraints”. It had earlier hosted the conference in 1978 and 1998. ICAO organizes the conference every year.
Director generals of Asia Pacific's aviation sector, chief of European Union regulatory body, high delegates, representatives from regulatory bodies of countries like the US, Britain, and France showed participation along with representatives from aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus in the conference, among others.
According to CAAN, work plan on aviation safety, security, capacity, air navigation, economic development and air transport, aviation and environment, technical and regional cooperation and other contemporary issues related to aviation will be presented and discussed in the conference.
ICAO is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and had prepared a special flag for the occasion. The flag was hoisted at the peak of Mt Everest on May 23, 2019 as per the decision passed by the council of ministers of the organization.