Panel formed to formulate new Civil Aviation Act

Kathmandu, October 22

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) formed a task force today for formulation of a new Civil Aviation Act.

The Cabinet meeting held on October 16 had directed MoCTCA to prepare a draft of a new Civil Aviation Act. Based on the direction, MoCTCA has formed a seven-member task force led by Yagya Prasad Gautam, former tourism secretary.

The task force also comprises MoCTCA Joint Secretary Suresh Acharya as member secretary along with Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, former director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN); Raju KC, former deputy general manager of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC); Devanand Upadhyaya, former deputy director general of CAAN; Suman Pandey, a representative from Airline Operators Association of Nepal and Senior Pilot of NAC, Dadhiram Niraula, as other members.

As per the ministry, the task force has to submit the draft within 60 days to the ministry. The ministry has further directed the task force to study the current status of the Nepali aviation sector and international practices so that a suitable act can be formulated.

“Within the given timeframe we will be studying the international practices of technologies and policies. Analysing the current status and needs of the country’s aviation sector, aviation practices in South Asian countries will also be observed,” said Suresh Acharya, joint secretary of MoCTCA, adding that required policies will be adopted.

In 2015 also the ministry had formed a task force to prepare the draft for a new Civil Aviation Act. The task force had finally submitted the draft in 2017 and it was under discussion at the ministry. However, the draft did not get endorsed by the government.

“Although the draft was submitted to MoCTCA, there was no further progress. Afterwards late tourism minister Rabindra Adhikari had taken the initiative to revise the submitted draft,” he said.

According to Acharya, the process of examining the earlier draft had been halted after the former minister passed away in a helicopter accident last year. The new act will replace the Civil Aviation Act 2006 with new provisions and regulations, Acharya added.

The ministry also expects the new act to support the government in getting Nepal removed from European Union’s air safety list. The EU’s major demands were revision of civil aviation policies and reducing helicopter accident rates in the country. Amidst this, the government is also working on splitting CAAN into operational and regulating bodies, which was among the issues raised by the EU to get Nepal off from its air safety list.