Helicopter flights to prohibited zones now require permission from Aviation Ministry

9th Aug, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Aug 09: Helicopter flights to prohibited zones will now require permission from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation as well. The government has declared 13 districts as prohibited zones, requiring direct permission for each individual flight taking place there.

Previously, the Home Ministry had been giving permissions for flights to prohibited zones on the recommendation of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal. The system has been changed since August as the government put in place a new protocol which requires permission from 3 offices which has made it more difficult for airlines to operate in the said regions. The prohibited regions include the airspace of the districts Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Solukhumbu, Dolakha, Rasuwa, Gorkha, Manang, Mustang, Dolpa, Mugu, Bajhang, and Darchula.

Suresh Acharya, the Chief of the Aviation Department of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, said that the new arrangement has been brought as the Home Ministry alone could not oversee the area. The new work process requires that helicopter companies will have to gain permission through email or other means in order to conduct flights even in emergency situations like transporting medical patients. In case communication is not possible at the time, the required bodies will have to be informed within 24 hours. The same rule has been applied for tourist rescues, epidemics, and natural disaster rescues where the offices have to be informed of the flights within 24 hours if it is not possible to gain permission beforehand.