KATHMANDU, July 7: The government has decided to split the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) into two organizations in a bid to make country's aviation sector more secure and effective.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has forwarded legal preparation to develop CAAN as the regulatory and service providing body in view of the international security concern. Ministry Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota informed, "CAAN must function as per the international practices.
The process was forwarded to ensure additional aviation security as the regulatory and service providing body. The preparations would be finalized by establishing coordination with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs." However, the employees at CAAN are not voicing for the split. Although employees' concern were logical to some extent, the new decision would not curtail their rights and incentives.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Union had been urging Nepal to split CAAN into two entities, expressing safety concerns. ICAO, in its audit carried out in 2009 and when its president visited Nepal in 2012, has recommended splitting CAAN into two bodies – one responsible for regulation and the other for providing service.
Similarly, the European Union had suggested in similar line. CAAN had revised the draft of the Nepal Civil Aviation Act 2071 and presented it to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation in 2073. Speaking in the CAAN's anniversary programme last year, then Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari had announced that two separate entities would be set up out of CAAN.
However, works could not move ahead in this regard due to the pressure from the CAAN employees unions not to go ahead with this. Ministry high officials recognize that the safety concerns of the European Union would be addressed if CAAN is split into two bodies. Nepal has already addressed many topics related to the safety concern shown by the European Union. The Ministry has stated that the process has been forwarded to also address this particular issue pointed out by the EU. ---