Against the expectation of the government of Nepal, the European Commission has continued the ban it imposed on Nepali airlines from flying into the 28-nation bloc.
The EC stated that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal failed to rectify air safety short-comings forcing the European Commission to continue with its ban on Nepali airlines from flying to Europe.
The EC had imposed the ban for the first time on December 5, 2013 citing the lack of proper security measures.
All 18 Nepali airlines were still subject to an operating ban within the EU due to lack of safety oversight by the country’s aviation authorities, mentioned the list made public in Brussels recently.
The EC in its updated air safety list included all air carriers certified by the authorities with responsibility for regulatory oversight of Nepal.
The EC clearly stated that the latest assessment was made against international safety standards, and notably the standards promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Update of the Air Safety List was based on the unanimous opinion of the safety experts from the EU Air Safety Committee member states who met from May 31 to June 2.
The European Aviation Agency also made it clear that it was unlikely to remove Nepali airlines from its blacklist unless ICAO closed its significant safety concerns about the country’s aviation sector.
The United Nations Aviation Agency pointed out a number of flaws in personnel licensing, licensing of air carriers, oversight of air operations, recommendations of accident investigation reports, airworthiness and flight safety, certification process of airline operators and overall capacity of CAAN.
The continuation of EU ban comes at a time when the Nepal Airlines Corporation aims to operate two wide-body aircraft to European destinations and the country aims to bring over one million tourists annually in the next two years, a news published in a local daily, The Himalayan Times, stated.
The continued ban is sure to affect the country’s tourism sector which is gradually returning to its normalcy following the devastating earthquake and the Indian blockade of 2015.
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