CAAN to implement new air standards after 9 months following SC order

Published On: February 24, 2024 08:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 24: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) is set to implement the Air Operation License Criteria (AOCR) with strict provisions to ensure safety of the aviation sector.

CAAN will implement the revised standards within a week. CAAN had attempted to implement these standards nine months ago, but faced a setback when the Airlines Operators Association of Nepal filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court (SC) to halt the implementation of the new standards.

After the court gave an interim order not to implement the new standards, CAAN was unable to proceed ahead.

With the SC upholding all the amendments except one that prohibits shareholders in an airline company from becoming pilots, CAAN is now preparing to implement the new standards.

The new standards have set a provision that does not allow airline companies to operate flights by bringing airplanes or helicopters on wet lease.

Similarly, companies that operate rotary and fixed-wing aircraft will get operating permission only if they have the capacity to operate three aircraft at the initial stage and later expand the fleet with two more aircraft. CAAN has made provision for the new airline companies to have at least five aircraft and the existing ones to expand their fleet to five aircraft within five years.

In order to expand the fleet, CAAN has made arrangements for the merger of airline companies. CAAN has also made it mandatory for the airliners to submit their security management system to the regulator.

Similarly, CAAN has made it mandatory for airline companies to submit their financial status in order to obtain 'No Objection Certificate' for flight approval.

CAAN will issue licenses only after assessing moral character, background, aviation security background, criminal history of those seeking license.

The new provision has also set the eligibility criteria for managers of airline companies under which they must be above 30 years of age and understand the airline company's policy, flight operations, safety management system, and rules of the CAAN.

In order to minimize the risk of aviation security, the individuals holding this position are prohibited from receiving benefits from organizations including travel agencies. Government owned airline companies are also prohibited from appointing managers and position holders without CAAN’s approval. The CAAN claimed that this provision will help to foster professionalism and break the tradition of appointing individuals based on personal preference.

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