Nepal | July 06, 2020

SKorea to conduct safety audit of NAC, TIA

Plans afoot to start regular flights to Incheon Int’l Airport

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, September 16

An aviation expert team from the Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA) of South Korea is expected to visit the country soon to inspect the safety and security condition of Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) and Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).

The expert team has planned to visit Nepal as there are concerns among South Korean authorities regarding the safety situation of NAC, which has plans to conduct flights to Seoul soon, according to Sanjeev Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN). “They want to be assured before they allow NAC to start regular flights to South Korea.”

“We are also planning to ink a memorandum of understanding for the safety assessment of NAC when the team arrives in Nepal,” said Gautam, adding that the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA), CAAN and NAC have started homework to support the Korean team during the safety assessment.

“The main reason that the team is coming to Nepal is that a safety audit must be conducted for NAC to start flights to South Korea,” said Gautam. “Moreover, they want to assess the situation due to significant safety concern (SSC) tag that has been applied by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Nepali airline companies in December 2013.”

Due to SSC tag, Nepali airline companies are restricted from flying to Europe.

According to Gautam, if KOCA approves NAC’s safety measurements and allows it to conduct flights to Seoul, then the EASA could also be compelled to remove Nepal from the SSC list. “It will be of great help to Nepali companies as South Korea, which is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), follows each and every provision of the safety standard set by ICAO.”

ICAO monitors Nepal’s aviation safety oversight capabilities through the ICAO Coordinated Validation Missions.

As per Sugat Ratna Kansakar, managing director of NAC, the Korean expert team will conduct preliminary audit of TIA including safety audit of NAC.

The national flag carrier has made preparations to provide air service between Nepal and South Korea following the increasing number of Nepalis travelling to South Korea for study or work purposes. It has also already invited sealed quotations to provide ground handling services at Incheon International Airport, Incheon, on February 26.

A version of this article appears in print on September 17, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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