Aviation scenario set for quantum leap

CAAN set to introduce Nepal Flying School Requirements:

Kathmandu, February 12:

The Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal is all set to introduce the Nepal Flying School Requirements (NFSR) for the first time in the country’s aviation history. Once the regulations come into effect, eligible private companies can begin pilot training schools as per CAAN rules.

CAAN authorities have already endorsed the NFSR. All it needs is a final seal of endorsement for its “immediate effect,” Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, chief of CAAN’s Office of Aviation Safety told this daily. This, according to him, will open up fresh avenues for aspiring pilots in the country especially at a time when South East Asia and Gulf countries are witnessing acute shortage of pilots mainly because many of them are now working for private airlines in India.

“Against this backdrop, we can send more trained pilots abroad for better job prospects once the flying schools begin their courses in full swing,” said Suman. Shivani Air and Virgo Airlines have already sought flying school operation permits from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said an aviation source.

With the aviation boom in India, around 10 Nepali pilots are working in India, while 15 are working for Gulf-based airlines and those in South Africa and Papua New Guinea. Around 10 Nepali aircraft maintenance engineers also are working in India and the Gulf countries.

NFSR has clearly specified the regulations for student, private, air transport, instructor and sport aviation pilots’ licenses as well the flight dispatchers’ license (FDL). The FDL, however, is not a pilot’s licence. The flight dispatcher oversees air passenger and baggage load amongst others.

Meanwhile, Shivani Air which received flying permits to operate in the domestic sector confirmed that it has also applied for starting flying school permits. “We are waiting for the government approval to begin flying school operations in Nepal,” said Shivendra Basnet, CEO, Shivani Air.

“We plan to open the pilots’ training school outside Kathmandu since the city is too congested,” said Basnet. The airline headed by its chairman, Umesh Chitrakar, has received permits to fly through hub airports such as Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, Bhadrapur, Janakpur, Simra, Pokhara as well as operate on mountain flight routes.