Kathmandu, October 17:

Government is set to bring in a new aviation policy within a week, liberalising the sector to ensure more private players and a competitive environment.

The amendment to the existing aviation policy is at the final stage and a bill for the new policy will be tabled in parliament by next week, said Pradeep Gyawali, minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation.

He was speaking at a programme organised on Tuesday to mark the 27th World Tourism Day 2006.

“It’s timely and will give greater priority to the private sector,” said Gyawali, adding that the state-owned national flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation would be made an autonomous entity.

“The new policy has envisaged the aviation industry as one of the lucrative sectors for the socio-economic development of the country. Thus, it has emphasised a long-term development of the sector,” said Madhav Prasad Ghimire, secretary at the ministry of tourism and civil aviation.

Gyawali also informed that the existing rules would be made flexible in order to give relief to international airlines to operate more flights during the peak tourist seasons. He also gave away awards and letters of appreciation to various airlines, travel trade companies, hotels and individuals for their contribution in the development tourism industry.