The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has expressed surprise over the ban imposed by European Commission on Nepal-based airlines into the 28-nation bloc under the latest changes to a list of unsafe carriers last week.
Issuing a statement on Saturday, CAAN stated that it had been in close consultation with EC during the last couple of months and had furnished all evidences and documents regarding safety oversight capability of Nepal as requested the Commission. CAAN officials, with representatives of the airline operators, had participated in the EC Air Safety Committee meeting on 19 November 2013 and presented Nepal’s position on aviation safety issues and efforts to improve aviation safety in Nepal.
CAAN has asserted that Nepal has made considerable progress by reducing the percentage of ineffective implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards from 57 percent in 2009 to 45 per cent in 2013, compared to global average of 41 percent in 2009 to 39 percent in 2013
The issues raised by EC regarding the aviation safety in Nepal were mainly concerned with the below world average of effective implementation of ICAO Standards during the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) audit and the rate of Nepali certified aircraft accidents.
Stating that Nepal in the process of implementing short term, medium term and long term plan to address the findings of ICAO audit, CAAN said it expected the lack of effective implementation status to reduce to the global average within six months.
CAAN also stated that to reduce the rate of accidents, it has introduced specific programme to implement the recommendations of the Accident Investigation Commission along with rigorous safety awareness campaign among personnel involved in aviation operations. It has established and is implementing safety management system to enhance overall safety in aviation service providers, and has adopted strict enforcement actions for non-compliance of safety regulations and safety violations.
CAAN noted that the organisation has been working together with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) through the South Asian Regional Initiative programme and that the agency had rated Nepal’s safety regulations to be satisfactory by EASA.
EU had announced the ban last week, citing unsatisfactory safety situation of Nepal-based carriers. The European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas had said that the current safety situation in Nepal did not leave any choice but to put all of its carriers on the EU air safety list. Related:6 Dec 2013, EU bans all Nepal-based airlines from flying into the 28 nation bloc.