Nepal | July 06, 2020

CAAN blames NAC for Dubai flight fiasco

Umesh Poudel
Share Now:

Kathmandu, April 5

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the aviation sector regulator, has accused the management of Nepal Airlines Corporation and its pilot for cancellation of NAC’s late Tuesday night’s ready-to-take-off flight to Dubai.

All 285 passengers flying to Dubai had boarded the NAC aircraft that evening and the plane’s door had also been shut to start the take-off process. But all of a sudden the captain announced that the flight had been cancelled and asked the passengers to board off. Passengers were told that the airport had been closing at 10:00 pm since April 1 to renovate the runway and flights could not be conducted beyond that time. Passengers soon started protesting and refused to leave the aircraft.

Later, only 107 passengers went to the hotel arranged by NAC while others remained in the aircraft till 5:00 am before they were forcefully removed with the help of police. The aircraft’s captain, Shrawan Rijal, has blamed the air traffic controller for the flight’s cancellation.

“All decisions related to operation of the airport are taken by aerodrome duty officer, not the ATC,” states the report prepared by the CAAN. “But the officials of NAC based in Tribhuvan International Airport did not coordinate with aerodrome duty officer before cancelling the flight.”

The aircraft, which was supposed to take off at 9.15pm, had arrived at the parking bay from the hangar at 8:29 pm, which was behind schedule, according to the CAAN report, a copy of which has been obtained by THT.

The air traffic controller had been trying to establish contact with NAC pilots since 7:54 pm to move the aircraft from the hangar to the parking bay. The pilots came into ATC’s contact only at 8:14pm, states the report, which was prepared based on instructions issued by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

After that the ATC time and again reminded the captain about the airport’s 10:00 pm closure time, adds the report.

The ATC asked the captain to start the aircraft’s engine at 9:37 pm. The captain responded by saying that he would do so in five minutes. The ATC then gave permission to Cathay Dragon to start its engine at 9:47 pm. At 9:49pm, ATC again contacted the NAC captain. But at that time engineers had just fixed a problem in the aircraft’s door. So, the ATC told NAC captain that he would have to wait until Cathay Dragon flight took off before starting its engine. Cathay Dragon flight took off at 9:58 pm. Then the ATC told the NAC captain that he couldn’t allow NAC aircraft to start its engine as it would not be able to complete take-off process by 10:00 pm.

“By 10:03 pm the captain of the aircraft had announced cancellation of the flight without consulting anyone,” states the report. “At that time senior TIA officials were discussing NAC issues. But the captain did not seek their advice.”

The NAC did not disclose the presence of passengers inside the aircraft. The aerodrome duty officer came to know about it only at 4:00 am.

NAC Spokesperson Bijaya Lama blamed airport officials for the fiasco, stating that pilots had been seeking permission to move the aircraft from the hangar to parking bay since 6:00 pm. But the aircraft arrived at parking bay only at 8:25 pm, he said.

“ATC had allowed the aircraft to take off at 9:30 pm. However, the plane could not take off due to technical problems in the aircraft’s door,” informed Lama, adding that the captain of the aircraft sought to take off permission at 9:57 pm, but ATC did not respond to his request and instead allowed the Cathay Dragon flight to take off.

“Had the NAC aircraft been allowed to take off at 9:57 pm, the aircraft could have taken off before the airport closure time,” said Lama.

The government has formed a four-member committee under a joint secretary of the civil aviation ministry to conduct further investigation into the matter.

 


A version of this article appears in print on April 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Dhankuta map

Opening of new park in Dhankuta delayed due to dispute

DHANKUTA, JULY 4 Even after the completion of construction work of Banjhakri Park months before the deadline, its scheduled inauguration couldn’t take place yesterday due to a dispute between the provincial and local government over the right to inaugurate the park in Dhankuta’s Mahalaxmi Mun Read More...

Over 1,000 Nepalis return home on repatriation flights

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Under the government’s evacuation schedule, a total of 1,082 migrant workers were repatriated today from five destinations. A total of seven flights were conducted today. Of them, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) conducted three flights and Himalaya Airlines conducted two f Read More...

Bullion price slightly down in domestic market

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Bullion price in the domestic market declined in the trading week between June 28 and July 3. According to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA), gold was traded at Rs 91,300 per tola on Sunday and it remained constant on Monday. On Tuesd Read More...

WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up more than 212,000

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Saturday, with the total rising by 212,326 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil and India, according to a daily report here The previous WHO record for new cases was 189,077 Read More...

NRNA, ILO

NRNA, ILO forge partnership to help Nepali migrant workers

TEXAS: The Non-resident Nepalis Association (NRNA) has forged a partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to help Nepali workers stranded in different parts of the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the NRNA has received a financial assistance of 424,310 US dollar Read More...

Dahal, Nepal, Khanal visit Prez Bhandari in Shital Niwas

KATHMANDU: Ruling Nepali Communist Party (NCP)'s co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leaders Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal met with President Bidya Devi Bhandari in Shital Niwas on Sunday morning. They reached the Presidential residence in Maharajgunj at around 11:00 am today. The Read More...

Nepal's Covid-19 death-toll at 34, five fatalities recorded in the last six days

KATHMANDU: Nepal has recorded 34 coronavirus related fatalities so far with five deaths logged in the last six days. Nepal had recorded the first-ever death attributed to the contagion on May 14. A 29-year-old new mother from Bahrabise Municipality of Sindhupalchowk died with coronavirus. Mini Read More...

KP Sharma Oli Pushpa Kamal Dahal

PM Oli, NCP co-chair Dahal to meet for yet another round of talks on Sunday

KATHMANDU: Amid internal disputes in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) wherein PM KP Sharma Oli is under mounting pressure to step down -- the two co-chairs of the party are holding further discussions, today. Keeping in mind that the standing committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, PM Ol Read More...