Int’l civil aviation day : Airlink to 18 Indian cities soon: Yami

Kathmandu, December 7:

The government will soon start regional flights linking to more than 18 destinations

in Indian metros.

Speaking on the occasion of International Civil Aviation Day, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hisila Yami said, “Nepal will soon launch regional flights from Biratnagar, Jhapa, Lumbini and extend to 18 more destinations of India like Gaya, Patna and other cities.”

“We are also working with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to increase foreign investment in the aviation sector according to open sky policy,” Yami said adding that the tourism ministry will get an expanded joint secretary-level office to look after the tourism sector. “We are in the process of making regulations and are quite liberal in unlocking rules and regulations to take greater initiatives.”

According to Yami, aviation is not a luxury but necessity as there are many places in Nepal where the only means of transportation is aviation, which is saving life for the people there.

Yami also focused on the growing need of sports aviation in Nepal, “Sports aviation is a new element in civil aviation, which can be noticed by the increase in its demand in the tourism industry.”

Meanwhile, ministry secretary Ramchandra Man Singh said, “Civil aviation needs skilled, trained and enthusiastic personnel willing to dedicate their time and energy for the betterment of air transport.”

Keeping in the view the growth of civil aviation worldwide and the demand of public and private sector, Singh said Nepal has adopted liberal sky policy in the year 1992 and comprehensive civil aviation policy has been reformulated in 2006. “We are witnessing

significant growth of domestic private airlines and expansion of air services in the country.

We have granted domestic airlines licences to fly in the international sector.”

KR Khanal, Director General of Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), dwelling upon the growth of Nepal in the aspect of human resource development (HRD) in aviation said, “In the last two decades, international aircraft movement at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has grown by 78 per cent and number of passengers by 158 per cent. In 1988, six lakh passengers moved in and out of TIA. The number reached more than 16 lakh in 2007. Domestic traffic and number of passengers have also grown by 378.24 per cent and 247 per cent, respectively, in the last two decades.”

Khanal also thanked the government for bringing in a comprehensive Civil Aviation Policy which stresses two important needs: An affiliation with ICAO TRAINAIR and Universities to enable it for quality control and overseeing of training and educational activities operated by the private sector, and the development and operation of training by native and foreign investors so that the requirement of human resources in the field of air service can fulfilled.

This year, the International Civil Aviation Day’s theme is, ‘Tomorrow’s Aviation-a-World of Opportunity for Skilled Aviation Personnel.’ Nepal became a member of ICAO in 1960.