KATHMANDU, August 7: Nepal has moved a step forward to split the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) into two entities, which is the bottom line of the European Union to remove the country’s airlines from the blacklist and allow them to fly in the European airspace.
The National Assembly last week unanimously passed two bills-- Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal Bill and Air Service Authority of Nepal (ASAN) Bill — that had remained pending in the upper house for over a year. Once the bills are endorsed by the House of Representatives, it will pave the way for splitting the existing structure of CAAN into two separate bodies - regulator and service provider. Currently, the single authority has been doing both jobs.
After the unbundling takes place, CAAN as a regulator will issue licenses to airlines, or scrap the license, monitor the aviation sector and take action against operators violating the rules. Similarly, ASAN will look after a number of operations such as construction, upgrade and operate airports and air navigation service as per the international criteria.
Likewise, ASAN will be responsible for providing ground handling services, determining visual and instrument flight rules, prepare and implement aeronautical charters, approve flight schedules and permit the operation of flights, prepare the criteria related to helipads and implement working procedures.
The EU banned all Nepal-based airlines from flying in the European space in 2013 stating that Nepal had ignored the precautionary measures aimed at reducing aviation-related disasters. Upon Nepal's request to remove the country from the blacklist, EU officials had insisted that Nepal separate the civil aviation regulator and operating body.