KATHMANDU, Aug 26: Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has requested European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to lobby for lifting the ban on Nepali airlines from flying to European Union (EU) nations, at the 56th Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Regions (DGCA) conference that concluded in Kathmandu last week.
According to the CAAN, the Nepali and European authorities discussed Nepal's progress in safety oversight and possibility of lifting Nepal from the EU air safety list.
"We put forward our word to the executive director of EASA, Patrick Ky," said Rajan Pokhrel, director general of CAAN. "EU was concerned about organizational issues and helicopter accidents."
He said that the government was working toward resolving organizational issues, whereas helicopters were not mainstream air transport operation and were mostly used for logistic support and rescue operations.
“We told them that more than 300 European citizens were rescued through choppers, and they have taken the information on a positive note," he said, adding: "Though EASA does not have direct relation to the EU Air Safety Committee, but as a technical team we are hopeful for their input to lift the ban on Nepal."
At the conference, the CAAN also put forward issues like operation of Nepal Airlines Corporation and Human Interaction Management (HIM) to China. "We have requested for slot to Nepali air operators in China," Pokhrel informed, "We informed the Chinese team about the accommodation of five Chinese airlines companies in Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), which is the only international airport with a single runway."
The CAAN had discussed different issues with civil aviation authorities of China, India, Myanmar, France, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, and Republic of Korea, among others.
ICAO had 12 agendas including aviation safety, air navigation, aviation security, air transport, facilitation, aviation meteorology, aviation environment, human resources, and regional cooperation, among others for the conference. President of ICAO Council, regional director of ICAO APAC office, representatives of 36 states, and 13 professional organizations and agencies attended the conference.
According to the CAAN, a total of 411 participants including 266 state delegates, 58 delegates from different organizations, 56 accompanying persons from different organizations, and 31 exhibitors took part in the conference.
The 57th DGCA will be hosted by Bangladesh with the theme of 'Promoting ICAO gender equality in conjunction with NGAP initiative in aviation'. Nepal hosted the five-day conference with the theme of “Harmonizing efforts to meet capacity constraints”. The conference was hosted by Nepal for the third time. Nepal had earlier hosted the 14th conference in 1978 and 34th conference in 1998.
ICAO on the occasion of its 75th anniversary this year had prepared a special flag. Pasang Tendi Sherpa, a mountaineer hoisted the flag at the peak of Mt Everest on May 23, 2019, as per the decision passed by the council of ministers of the organization. The flag was handed over to the ICAO president.