Kathmandu, August 21
Myanmar has finally agreed to implement Himalaya-2 air route that had been
under discussion for a long time.
Nepal and Myanmar have reached an agreement about the air route today during the ongoing 56th Director Generals of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Conference. “Civil aviation officials from both the countries have reached a mutual understanding of operating Himalaya-2 air route,” informed Rajan Pokhrel, director general of the
Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
He further said that both parties have decided to meet soon in Myanmar for the final agreement. “Soon after this conference, CAAN official will visit Myanmar for further processes and resolve the long pending issue,” he added.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had identified Himalaya-2 air route as an optional air route in 2010 to reduce air traffic congestion above the Bay of Bengal route in India.
The Himalaya-2 air route begins from Mahakali in the west and then exits from eastern part of Nepal and follows Indian airspace in Bengal, Assam and Arunachal. The route then continues towards airspace of Myanmar, China, Hong Kong and Japan. In order to ease congestion, ICAO had initiated Europe Middle East/Asia Air Route South of Himalaya (EMARSH). Nepal had proposed Himalaya-2 air route for EMARSH project in 2010.
According to CAAN, this route will not only benefit Nepal but the Asian region as a whole. Nepal had appealed for cooperation of all concerned agencies for its implementation.
As stated by the CAAN, India and China have already expressed their consent for implementation of this route. Implementation of this route is expected to reduce flight distance and to save fuel for airlines.
Currently, the distance of Kathmandu to Kunming is 1,085 nautical miles, which will be reduced to 971 nautical miles after the route is opened. Similarly, the current distance from Kunming to Delhi is 1,488 nautical miles, which will be reduced by 57 nautical miles to 1,431 nautical miles. Likewise, the route will help to save around 1,660 tonnes of fuel per year.
Besides, this route will help Nepal to generate revenue by allowing foreign airline companies to use this route. Meanwhile, this route will reduce the
distance from Nepal to European countries as well as Japan.
A version of this article appears in print on August 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.