Concerns over Nepal’s Blacklist Status in EU

21st Dec, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: The European Union (EU) has refused to remove Nepal from its aviation blacklist even after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) from its Serious Safety Concerns (SSC) list earlier in July.

Nepal had sent a request to the EU to be removed from its aviation safety blacklist after being removed from ICAO’s SSC list. Chances for Nepal to be removed from the EU’s blacklist improved after passing ICAO’s “Basic Universal Level”. The European Union, however, has currently refused to remove Nepal from the blacklist. EU has invited the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) to discuss this matter further in January. The Director General of CAAN, Sanjiv Gautam, has said that it intends to inform EU of the improvements in Nepal’s aviation sector in the discussion. Nepal has been in EU’s aviation blacklist for the past 5 years, barring any Nepalese airlines for making flights to Europe.
CAAN has continued to make efforts to remove Nepal from the EU blacklist, said the acting Director General of CAAN, Rajan Pokharel. According to him, he expressed his concerns as ICAO had conducted audits in four of its eight fields of aviation. The EU is mostly concerned about personal licensing, post-accident reporting, and implementation of ways of improvement, said Pokharel. He states that Nepal has seen improvement in EU’s points of concern, but their quality levels have appeared low as there have been no audits in those sectors. The full phase audit of ICAO will show overall progress in Nepal’s aviation sector. Nepal was listed as a country with grave security concerns in aviation sector after it was proven that it had not followed the ICAO set process while obtaining the Air Operator’s Certificate.
According to Pokharel, Nepal currently scores 90.4 points in regulations, 50 points in organizational improvement, 68 points in licensing, 85.22 points in licensing, 94.39 points in airworthiness, 20.4 points in disaster investigation, 55.96 points in air navigation, and 69.57 in aerodrome. He says that these levels appear low as ICAO did not study disaster investigation and organizational structure in its audit from 4th July to 11th July. The overall progress of Nepal, however, is at 66% while ICAO’s minimum requirement from the Asia Pacific Region was at 60%. Pokharel has stated that air safety is a sensitive subject which is why all interest groups to keep its improvement as the first priority.