MoCTCA gets a go-ahead from Cabinet to table bill to split CAAN

Kathmandu, January 30

The Cabinet meeting held on Monday has granted permission to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to table a bill to split the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) at the Federal Parliament.

The Cabinet has allowed MoCTCA to table the CAAN (establishment and management) Bill and Nepal Aviation Service (establishment and service) Bill to the Parliament.

Following the Cabinet’s approval, CAAN will split be into two different entities — a regulatory body and an air navigation service provider.

In 2012, the government had formally announced that CAAN would be divided into two separate autonomous entities.

The government has said the split will improve CAAN’s regulatory mechanism and also aid in developing civil aviation infrastructure of the country.

On, September 23, 2018, the Cabinet had given its go-ahead for splitting CAAN. Since then, MoCTCA had been working with Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for necessary changes in the legal provisions.

CAAN was established 22 years ago and it has its own Civil Aviation Act. As per the act, it has been working on aviation services and safety, air transport and surveillance, as well as development of airport infrastructure.

European Union has blacklisted Nepal’s aviation sector citing safety concerns issued by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). EU has prohibited Nepali carriers to enter its airspace since December 2013. However, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its significant safety concern list.

ICAO provided a certificate of safety assurance to CAAN after Nepal assured of flight safety in July of 2017.

The EU is also a member of the ICAO and Nepal has been trying to convince the union to lift its ban on Nepali carriers.

Earlier, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai had said that the government is obliged to implement the safety standards, policies, and guidelines as per ICAO standards.