France to help Caan boost safety oversightThe Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) has appointed the advisory arm of the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) to help strengthen Nepal’s aviation safety oversight as safety concerns remain key challenges for the burgeoning airline industry.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (Caan) has appointed the advisory arm of the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) to help strengthen Nepal’s aviation safety oversight as safety concerns remain key challenges for the burgeoning airline industry.
A team from the DGAC will work together in the areas of flight operations and airworthiness to increase Nepal’s aviation industry competencies in accordance with international standards.
“One of the experts joined Caan on May 5, and another is expected to join soon,” said Rajan Pokhrel, deputy director general of Caan. “The DGAC had offered to support Caan in the area of safety, and we instantly accepted the proposal.”
Pokhrel said that an International Civil Aviation Organization (Icao) team was slated to arrive in June to check the corrective measures taken by Nepal to address significant safety concerns (SSC) relating to operations and other aspects.
“After the audit, we will definitely have new challenges to address the safety issues in a sustainable way. Hence, we decided to involve the French team to achieve a new level in aviation safety,” said Pokhrel. Another reason for involving experts in regulatory functions is the ever-growing industry, he said. Aviation activities in Nepal have grown in leaps and bounds, but Caan has not been able to increase its capacity accordingly to oversee them.
As per Caan, it will be reviewing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the DGAC in 1997 in the area of technical cooperation.
In July 2013, an Icao mission visited Nepal to validate the corrective measures taken by the country to address the deficiencies pointed out by the global aviation watchdog in 2009.
The mission carried out an on-site audit from July 10-16. Unsatisfied with Nepal’s progress, the UN supervisory body had given the significant safety concern tag to Nepal’s aviation sector in its audit report in August 2013.
It had given a red flag on ‘operations’, among the eight critical elements of safety oversight, due to the large number of aircraft accidents and incidents between 2009 and 2012 when there were at least two passenger aircraft crashes annually.
Nepal had performed poorly in effectively implementing air safety oversight systems, appearing way down among 46 Asian countries. The outcome of the audit had further consequences as the European Commission (EC) on December 5, 2013 put all Nepali carriers in its bad books for the worst record of air safety oversight.