Nepal Airlines under scrutiny: CAAN demands clarification on flight safety standards

KATHMANDU: The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has directed Nepal Airlines to provide clarification on 27 points concerning flight safety standards within a seven-day timeframe. This action comes amidst growing concerns regarding various operational and maintenance practices within the airline.

Key positions within Nepal Airlines, including the Continuing Airworthiness Manager (CAMO Manager) and Maintenance Manager, have remained vacant since October 5, 2023.

The suspension of these positions was attributed to repetitive defects not addressed in accordance with company procedures, particularly regarding the A320 Aircraft and its Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).

Numerous maintenance requirements have been neglected, leading to significant operational disruptions such as grounded aircraft due to expired squib cartridges. Additionally, maintenance standards have fallen below average, with instances of improper installations and handling of defects.

The A320 aircraft 9N-AKX has been grounded for four months due to engine spares, highlighting challenges in acquisition planning. Moreover, frequent premature engine failures have resulted in increased Aircraft on Ground (AOG) instances, impacting flight schedules.

Operational challenges persist, including inadequate hangar management, lack of defined airworthiness standards, and a focus of post holders on procurement rather than airworthiness activities. This has resulted in numerous audit findings remaining open past their closure dates, indicating organizational deficiencies in addressing safety concerns.

CAAN has stressed the urgency for Nepal Airlines to address these concerns promptly. They have suggested the separation of procurement and maintenance functions from the CAMO department. Additionally, improvements in communication protocols, training, and adherence to safety standards are urged to enhance operational integrity and mitigate safety risks.

The demand for clarification underscores the critical need for Nepal Airlines to rectify existing deficiencies in maintenance practices and operational management. Addressing these concerns is imperative to ensure the safety and reliability of airline operations, safeguarding both passengers and personnel.

In response to CAAN’s directive, Nepal Airlines has committed to providing comprehensive explanations for each of the 27 points raised. They have assured CAAN of their dedication to upholding the highest standards of flight safety and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Efforts are underway within Nepal Airlines to address the identified shortcomings and implement corrective measures. This includes the recruitment of qualified personnel to fill key positions and the implementation of enhanced maintenance protocols.

CAAN has expressed its willingness to work closely with Nepal Airlines to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to improve flight safety standards. They have emphasized the importance of proactive measures to prevent future incidents and maintain the integrity of Nepal’s aviation industry.

As Nepal Airlines works towards addressing the concerns raised by CAAN, passengers can expect continued vigilance and commitment to safety from the national carrier.

With collaborative efforts between regulatory authorities and airline management, Nepal Airlines aims to strengthen its operations and regain trust in its ability to provide safe and reliable air transportation services.

Fiscal Nepal |
Wednesday March 27, 2024, 12:36:29 PM |

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