‘Safety top priority of new aviation act’

Kathmandu, February 19

A panel formed to formulate a new aviation act has claimed that the Draft of New National Aviation Act 2020 has prioritised aviation safety.

Submitting the draft to Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai today, Yagya Prasad Gautam, coordinator of the panel, said that the new act will address the existing issues of the country’s aviation sector.

“From aircraft procurement to passengers’ insurance, we have tightened the rules for each aspect related to aviation safety,” Gautam said, adding that the new act will help to build a safe and credible aviation sector of the country.

The draft of the new aviation act has included a provision of passengers’ insurance in the domestic sector.

“We have signed the Montreal Convention for international passengers, however no such provision has been implemented for domestic passengers,” he said, “The new act has included a provision to insure domestic passengers.”

Likewise, aiming to reduce air accidents in domestic sector, the act has included a provision of not allowing airline companies to purchase aircraft operated for more than 15 years. And if any airline company purchases an aircraft operated for less than five years, the government will provide customs and other discounts.

The act has also mentioned that single engine aircraft for commercial flights will be banned completely. However, single engine aircraft can be used for private and training purposes. With the enactment of the new act, individuals will also be allowed to own private aircraft.

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) will soon table the draft of the act at the Cabinet, the minister said. “Formulation of a new act in the aviation sector was necessary in terms of changed context and to become globally competitive. The ministry believes that this act will help in improving and further developing Nepal’s aviation sector.”

MoCTCA had formed the panel on October 22 to study the current status of the Nepali aviation sector and international practices so that a suitable act could be formulated.