EU will remove Nepal from its safety list soon: Minister


Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai has claimed that Nepal is all set to get removed from the list of flight restrictions imposed by the European Union. Launching the Aviation Safety Report 2020 today, he mentioned that the aviation sector of the country has achieved satisfactory progress in recent days and rectified the lapses mentioned by the EU while putting Nepal in its safety list.

“So far the domestic aviation sector has achieved satisfactory progress and met the demands of the EU as well, thus, I am confident that the EU will remove Nepal from its safety list very soon,” the minister stated.

He further said that the safety standard of Nepal’s aviation sector is also high comparatively and the flight safety report of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has also stated that there is no need of further listing Nepal in the EU’s safety list.

The government will soon begin the procedure to submit a proposal to the EU requesting it to remove Nepal from its safety list by completing all the due legal processes, Minister Bhattarai added. Meanwhile, he said that the procedure to split CAAN into separate operational and regulation bodies is in the final phase.

“A bill with a provision to split CAAN into two separate bodies has already been submitted to the Parliament and is in approval process and we are confident that it will be endorsed,” he said. “With this separation, the aviation sector will be more regulated and better managed.”

According to the Aviation Safety Report 2020 prepared by CAAN, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has set 60 per cent of the safety standard rate. And so far Nepal’s fresh safety standard rate is 67 per cent which is more than the standard rate of ICAO. Most of the Asian nations’ safety standard rate stands at 64 while Nepal has more than the average safety standard rate, said Director General of CAAN Rajan Pokhrel.

“As we have reached 67 per cent of safety standard rate set by ICAO, we are now planning to upgrade this rate to 75 per cent very soon,” he said, adding, “In the last three years air crash rate has also declined.” According to him, in the last three years, the country had witnessed an average of seven fatalities per air crash.