EU decides to continue ban on Nepali airlines

Published On: December 13, 2016 01:50 AM NPT By: Susheel Bhattarai  | @sushbhattarai

KATHMANDU, Dec 13: A three-year effort made by Nepal to delist itself from a European Union (EU) blacklist has been in vain. 

The EU has decided to continue its ban on Nepali airlines through a recent update in the EU Air Safety List. 

The decision means Nepali airlines cannot fly to EU member-countries.

The fresh updated on the Air Safety List is based on the unanimous opinion of the safety experts from the EU member states who met from 22 to 24 November within the EU Air Safety Committee (ASC), EU said in a statement. 

European Union has said that the airlines companies, which are blacklisted, have been unable to respect the standard of International Aviation Security and Civil Aviation Authority has not been able to make airlines companies to follow the International aviation security law. The main aim is to provide top security to European people in any place and for that aviation security is the most, EU has said.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) had claimed that it would be able to get out from the blacklist this year, stating that it had received a letter which says that Nepal has made progress on aviation security.

The EU put a ban on Nepali airlines from flying in its airspace on December 5, 2013. It has also requested Europeans not to travel in aircraft registered in Nepal. 

Nepali aviation experts have been maintaining that the EU ban came in response to Nepal's decision to provide type certification to Modern Ark-60 aircraft made in China.

European and American countries are yet to provide type certification to the MA-60 series aircraft.

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has been flying one MA-60 aircraft. It is set to get another MA-60 aircraft within few months.

CAAN had sent required documents to EU in September 11, 2014 to delist itself from the blacklist. The aviation regulator had also hired Mitchell Beland, an expert with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for one year, as part of its plan to remove Nepal from the backlist.

Earlier on November 19, CAAN officials had responded to questions related to air safety situation in Nepal and the MA-6- aircraft raised by members of EU Air Safety Committee.

Likewise, a six-member team of EU had visited Nepal for a week from February 1, 2014 to conduct onsite observation and study safety management system of six airlines -- Nepal Airlines Company, Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, Tara Air, Sita Air and Shree Airlines. 

Along with Nepal, airline companies of Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Indonesia, Liberia, Libya, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Sudan are also in the blacklist. Likewise, airlines of Iran, Iran, Suriname, Gabon, South Korea, and Angola have also been blacklisted by the European Union.

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