As a technical team of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is set to arrive Nepal for an air safety audit next month, Nepal government officials are optimistic that Nepal will be removed its aviation safety blacklist.
The team is set to arrive after Dashain festival, after eight long years, and will commence the audit work. EASA team previously arrived Nepal in 2014 for an audit. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had put all Nepali airlines on the list of serious security concerns on December 5, 2013, owing to their weak safety standards.
After the decision of ICAO, Nepali airlines were banned from flying to any country in the European Union (EU).
While the ICAO removed Nepal’s aviation from its blacklist in July 2017, the regional body has not followed suit, demanding revision of civil aviation policies, splitting CAAN into operational and regulating bodies.
In the latest air safety audit by ICAO in April, Nepal had made significant progress with a score of 70.1 per cent, which was above the global average of 67.2 per cent.
“Since the International Civil Aviation Organisation has already given a good score to Nepali airlines, we believe that the EASA will remove Nepal from its air safety list, thereby allowing Nepali airlines to once again fly to European destinations,” informed Jagannath Niroula, spokesperson for Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
According to the officials, the air safety audit will last for four days and the team will study eight areas including legislation, institutions, airworthiness, personal licensing, flight operations, air navigation services, aerodrome and ground aids, and accident investigation.
Some reforms made by Nepal in the aviation sector are the main topic in the argument of the official to be removed from the blacklist.
A total of 326,667 foreigners had visited Nepal till August 2022, as per the Nepal Tourism Board. The country welcomed a total of 41,304 by air in August, with European tourists constituting 19.1 cent of total visitors.
In case Nepal is removed from the blacklist, it will be convenient to all European tourists to travel to and forth Nepal.