‘EU will remove Nepal from aviation safety list’

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Kathmandu, June 22

Nepal will be removed from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)’s aviation safety list within the next three months, claims Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari.

Speaking at the Parliament today, he said the government has already sent a letter to European Union to remove Nepal from Significant Safety Concern (SSC) list.

Minister Adhikari was confident that the EU would do the needful.

The minister claimed that the current security and safety standards in Nepal’s aviation sector met the EU requirements. Hence, Nepal’s name would be removed from the list within the next three months. Adhikari informed that concerned EU officials will be coming to the country in September to discuss on aviation safety issues with Nepali officials.

All Nepali airlines were banned from flying to Europe owing to their weak safety standards since December 5, 2013. Nepal has been repeatedly requesting the EU to remove it from the list with assurances of improvement. But, the regional body has continued listing Nepal in the blacklist.

In December last year, European Commission had said all Nepali airlines were still subject to an operating ban due to its inclusion in the SSC list. The European Aviation Safety Agency had mentioned then that it had seen no significant improvement in Nepal’s aviation sector.

“The government believes that by September, EASA will remove Nepal from the SSC list,” Adhikari said. On July 21 last year, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had removed Nepal’s aviation sector from its SSC list and there is no reason why EU would not do the same, he added.

Officials at Nepal Airlines Corporation have said that the continuous EU ban has hampered the national flag carrier’s plans to operate wide-body aircraft to Europe. The government has planned to bring two million tourists annually from 2020 onward and if the EU does remove Nepal from its safety list then it will be beneficial for Nepali airline companies too as they will be able to fly to Europe, the officials added.

A concerned stakeholder has claimed that Nepal’s inclusion in the SSC list was a result of the Civil Aviation Authority of
Nepal’s failure to provide necessary safety oversight documents as per the international aviation safety rules.

Written by Nikki Hamal
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/eu-will-remove-nepal-from-aviation-safety-list/ under the title “‘EU will remove Nepal from aviation safety list’”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.