Kathmandu, June 19
The government’s move to operate more domestic airports in various districts could create complications for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) in handling rescue and fire-fighting operations due to lack of resources.
“The government has continued to include the construction of new domestic airports in the financial bills but the government needs to be a bit more aware regarding safety issues,” said Sanjeev Gautam, director general of CAAN.
Speaking in a programme titled ‘Emergency preparedness for rescue and fire-fighting’ organised at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today, Gautam said that CAAN is following the government’s decision to construct and operate more airports. “We are an implementing agency and we have to abide by all the government’s decisions.”
However, the government should be aware of the risks that could occur if airports are opened without adequate technical and human resources, he stated. Gautam added that the recent trend of opening airports without the needed resources could create problems regarding safety and rescue mechanisms in future.
Speaking at the programme, officials of CAAN and TIA claimed that the rescue and fire-fighting mechanisms at TIA are up-to-date.
“TIA at present is equipped to provide the ninth category of rescue and fire-fighting service as per the guidelines of the
International Civil Aviation Organisation and also as per CAAN’s safety regulations,” said Dayananda Chaudhary, deputy manager of Aviation Rescue and Fire-fighting Service at TIA.
After the US-Bangla airplane crash, TIA recently bought one mobile fire command vehicle to help speed up rescue and fire-fighting operations. The vehicle is used for commanding and coordinating during an emergency response. Presently, TIA has 66 firefighters and rescue personnel who work in three shifts.
On the occasion, Raj Kumar Chhetri, general manager of TIA, said that TIA will be adding more technical resources within six months so as to be better equipped and able to handle any situation regarding rescue and fire-fighting. “We are going to add more fire-fighting vehicles at TIA.”
According to CAAN, while responding to aircraft and airport emergencies including rescue and fire-fighting services the concerned authorities follow the airport emergency plan (AEP) that was implemented in 1995 in TIA. However, for domestic airport emergency services the plan was implemented only in 2007.
Written by Sandeep
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/more-airports-a-safety-concern-for-caan/ under the title “More airports a safety concern for CAAN”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.