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Pokhara plane crash defers Nepal’s hope of getting off EU air safety blacklist

Fire breaks out in the gorge of the Seti river following the Pokhara plane crash, on Sunday, January 15, 2023. Photo: Sudarshan Ranjit
Fire breaks out in the gorge of the Seti river following the Pokhara plane crash, on Sunday, January 15, 2023. Photo: Sudarshan Ranjit

Kathmandu, January 22

The Pokhara plane crash killing almost all on board on January 15 has deferred Nepal’s hopes of getting out of the European Union air safety blacklist.

The accident took place while the European Commission was preparing to send a team for the on-site assessment of Nepal’s aviation situation, which ultimately forced the commission to withdraw from the plan now.

In a joint statement on Friday, EU Ambassador to Nepal Nona Deprez and Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Director General Pradeep Adhikari said, “In mutual agreement, the EU and CAAN have reached a conclusion that it would be in our best mutual interest to postpone a planned on-site assessment visit mandated by the EU Air Safety Committee, for the time being. The primary focus for CAAN, at this time, is on dealing with the aftermath of the accident.”

The statement does not specify when the next round of assessment will take place.

The European Commission’s decision to blacklist the country on its air safety list has barred aircraft belonging to Nepali airline companies from European skies since 2013. In its recent revision in November 2022 also, Nepal failed to get off the list.

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