Draft Civil Aviation Bill in final stage of completionTourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari said that a draft bill to split the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal into two entities—regulatory body and service provider—was in the final stage of completion.
Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari said that a draft bill to split the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal into two entities—regulatory body and service provider—was in the final stage of completion. Addressing the 20th anniversary celebration of the Civil Aviation Authority on Monday, he said that the functional separation was purely intended to eliminate any possible conflict of interest by ensuring that all service issues are outside its control.
“We are breaking up the Civil Aviation Authority not due to external pressure or pressure from the European Commission that has put all Nepali airlines in its ‘air safety list’. It has now become the country’s need,” he said. “We will soon have three international airports. Hence, we need a separate, strong and efficient aviation regulator to govern our ever expanding aviation industry.”
A draft of the integrated Civil Aviation Bill that envisages splitting the Civil Aviation Authority into two entities is in the final stage of completion, and we will start taking inputs from industry stakeholders soon, said Adhikari. The government has been working on the new law for the last nine years.
Tourism Secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota told the employees of the Civil Aviation Authority not to worry about their jobs as the proposed separation would not affect them. He said that the authority needed to be broken up, and urged them not to doubt the government’s intentions.
Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, told the Post that a very close relationship between the service provider and the regulator could result in conflict of interest and undermine confidence in the aviation safety system. He said that separation had become a legal requirement in many parts of the world.
Recently, the Tourism Ministry informed the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that the bill would be introduced in the upcoming winter session of Parliament due to mounting pressure to have Nepal removed from the European Commission’s air safety list.
The European Commission has indicated that it is not happy with the Nepal government’s lack of progress in making a law to split the authority into regulatory body and service provider. As a result, the commission has continued its ban on Nepali airlines for five consecutive years through an updated European Union air safety list published on November 28.
The impact of the air safety list has been hurting Nepali carriers who plan to extend their network to Europe and other countries.
On December 5, 2013, the European Commission imposed a blanket ban on all airlines from Nepal from flying into the 28-nation bloc. In January 2018, Nepali civil aviation officials made a detailed presentation regarding the improvements Nepal had made to address air safety deficiencies during the technical committee meeting of the commission held in Brussels, Belgium.
“Following the presentation, the commission had agreed to send a technical team to Nepal in September to evaluate the status of Nepali airlines and their improvement towards safety, but the mission did not come,” said Gautam. “Again, on October 29, the commission wrote us that the Civil Aviation Authority needed further improvement.”
Airport improved due to social media posts
KATHMANDU: Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari said on Monday that the improvements made at the country’s sole international airport Tribhuvan International Airport were a result of the influence of social media.
The influence of social media on aviation, particularly regarding the services at the airport, has become fully apparent, he said. “I have received more than 100 photos on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook on the dilapidated infrastructure at Tribhuvan International Airport and its services,” he said. “The comments were awful, but they helped us to improve,” said Adhikari.
“Now social media is present everywhere, and we cannot fool service seekers,” he said, adding that the ministry had ordered all airport chiefs to be engaged in social media and address the grievances of service seekers immediately. They cannot run away from their responsibility.”