Kathmandu, November 10
A meeting of the European Aviation Safety Agency is beginning in Brussels next week, and it is high likely that it will consider the agenda of removing Nepal from the aviation safety list.
But, stakeholders in Nepal have concluded that the panel may choose to continue barring Nepali airlines from the European sky thanks to political interference in Nepal’s civil aviation regulatory body–Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
Else, Nepal had expected that the meeting will remove Nepal from the black list considering the decision of International Civil Aviation Organisation’s decision to remove Nepal from the Significant Security Concerns (SSeC) list in July.
Then European Union’s Ambassador to Nepal, Rensje Teerink, had also told Onlinekhabar in September that the EU is likely to remove Nepal from the list.
“…But, I can see the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal has made some significant achievements and the International Civil Aviation Organisation has taken a notice of it,” she had said few days before wrapping up her Kathmandu assignment, “The European Aviation Safety Agency is holding a meeting in November and it may lift the ban on Nepali airline companies. It will be a significant step to promote tourism in Nepal.”
Despite these improvements, the EU is now more concerned about political interference in administrative affairs of CAAN. Recently, Minister for Aviation Jitendra Narayan Dev had tried to remove incumbent Director General Sanjiv Gautam from the position and the EU has noted the issue.
CAAN spokesperson Birendra Kumar Shrestha says, “The EU has closely observed these developments. If it continues, it will be difficult for us to get removed from the black list.”
“It is very unlikely that we will be removed,” informs another official at CAAN.
Likewise, officials say the EU’s decision not to invite Nepal to the meeting is also meaningful. While Nepal was invited to the 2013 meeting that imposed the ban, the EU has just sought reports from Nepal now.
The report has already been sent.
Published on November 10th, Friday, 2017 4:27 PM