Published On: June 21, 2022 06:18 PM NPT By: Muna Sunuwar | @TheMunaSun
KATHMANDU, June 21: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has said that a mandatory provision for the night-stop parking to 35 aircraft including 17 helicopters outside Kathmandu is the need of the hour.
Organizing a press conference on Tuesday, the regulatory body of the aviation sector said that this provision was put into force to address problems including air/ground holding, delay in flights, lack of parking space and terminal congestion in domestic flights. Currently, there are 52 aircraft under nine domestic airline operators of which the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has the parking capacity of 17 aircraft. “We are only trying to practice standard parking. The TIA can accommodate 33 percent of the total aircraft and the remaining 67 percent need to be parked outside the Kathmandu Valley,” said Pradeep Adhikari, Director General at CAAN.
“The mandatory provision for the airplanes and helicopters to go out of Kathmandu was taken as per the policy to ensure aviation safety in Nepal.”
Meanwhile, the Airline Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN) has threatened to halt all regular and emergency rescue flights starting Wednesday. The association has put forward a five-point demand including revoking the government’s decision to hike the fees of landing, parking and navigation as provisioned by the Airport Service Fee Regulations 2078 BS. It has also demanded the government authorities make available long-term helipads, hangars for the maintenance of helicopters and other necessary infrastructures on the premises of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu.
The CAAN has said that it was ready to add maintenance facilities and infrastructure in the designated operating bases for domestic airlines as per their need. “The aviation industry is an essential and sensitive industry. The stakeholders should not resort to threatening,” DG Adhikari added. “Airports across the country are open tomorrow.”
Similarly, a TIA official said night-stop is an international practice and also, the TIA has a limitation in terms of space. “We have standard parking space for 11 aircraft in the international apron and 17 in the domestic apron,” he said. “This is important for regional development.”
The CAAN claimed that a committee was formed two months ago to prepare a report regarding the distribution of base stations for domestic airlines to address the issue of congestion at the TIA. Prem Nath Thakur, general manager at TIA said, the committee was formed in the presence of CAAN officials and representatives of domestic airline operators as signatories. “The operating base was designated as per the report.”
Teknath Sitaula, spokesperson for TIA, said that these things are included in the Air Operator Certificate (AOC), and it’s just that CAAN is implementing it now.
There are 10 airports - Biratnagar, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Chandragadhi, Janakpur, Simara, Surkhet, Dhangadhi, Ramechhap and Bharatpur outside the Kathmandu Valley that have night-stop capacity.
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