Nepal requests EU to remove country from air safety list

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Home Affairs has requested the European Union to remove Nepali aviation sector from its air safety list which effectively bans Nepali airline companies from the European skies.

During a courtesy call on the European Union (EU) Ambassador, Nona Deprez, on Wednesday, Home Minister, Ram Bahadur Thapa, said that Nepal had recently made significant improvements in air safety and security and urged the EU to lift its ban on the aviation sector of Nepal.

The meeting which was held at the Home Ministry focused on bilateral relations, cooperation, and mutual assistance between Nepal and EU countries. Thapa expressed confidence that Nepal-EU relations would reach new heights during the tenure of the new ambassador.

Home Minister Thapa thanked the EU for its support in the areas of development, democracy, human rights and disaster management in the country and expressed confidence that the support would continue in the days to come.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Deprez spoke about the historical ties between Nepal and the EU and said that he would play a role in strengthening those ties during his tenure. He expressed his commitment to continue the EU’s assistance to Nepal and to extend more assistance in the coming days.

Stating that the ban on Nepal’s airspace is a technical issue, Ambassador Deprez assured that the EU Technical Committee is studying the issue and will reach a conclusion soon.

Although Nepal has been removed from the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) list since July 2018, it has not yet been removed from the European Union’s (EU) blacklist. The EU had blacklisted Nepali airlines for failing to meet air safety standards.

Recently, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has been saying that Nepal is on the ICAO reform list due to the continuous improvement in air safety. The overall safety of the airspace has improved and is improving.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the ICAO will present a report on the improvement in safety by conducting an audit after the current authority has been split into a service provider and regulatory body.

At present, ICAO is continuously exchanging details of the work done in Nepal’s air security online and improvements are being made as per the instructions.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday October 16, 2020, 03:52:21 PM |

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