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"ICAO postpones audit of Nepal's aviation standards"
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
ICAO postpones audit of aviation standards
Nepal - The Kathmandu Post
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has postponed the
much-awaited audit of Nepal's aviation standards as one of the experts is
indisposed, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) said.
The ICAO Validation Mission (ICVM) had been scheduled to conduct its audit from
June 6-13. The United Nations aviation watchdog monitors Nepal's aviation
safety oversight capabilities through the ICAO Coordinated Validation Missions
The mission is normally invited by a state when it is fully confident that it
has fulfilled all the compliances with international safety standards.
"ICAO has informed us of their decision to postpone the ICVM. They have not
exactly fixed the next audit date, but it will probably be June-end," said
Birendra Prasad Shrestha, spokesperson for CAAN.
Based on Nepal's request, ICAO was supposed to send flight operation and air
In July 2013, an ICAO mission visited Nepal to validate the corrective measures
taken by the country to address the deficiencies pointed out by the global
aviation watchdog in 2009.
The mission carried out an on-site audit from July 10-16. Unsatisfied with
Nepal's progress, the UN supervisory body had given the significant safety
concern (SSC) tag to Nepal's aviation sector in its audit report in August 2013.
It had given a red flag on 'operations', among the eight critical elements of
safety oversight, due to the large number of aircraft accidents and incidents
between 2009 and 2012 when there were at least two passenger aircraft crashes
Nepal had performed poorly in effectively implementing air safety oversight
systems, appearing way down among 46 Asian countries. As a consequence of the
audit report, the European Commission (EC) on December 5, 2013 put all Nepali
carriers in its bad books for the worst record of air safety oversight.
There are eight critical elements that ICAO considers essential for a state to
establish, implement and maintain in order to have an effective national safety
oversight system. They include primary aviation legislation, Organisation and
safety oversight functions, personnel licensing, aircraft operations,
airworthiness of aircraft, aerodromes, air navigation system and accident and
Among the eight critical elements, the mission will audit four
areas-legislation, Organisational, operations and airworthiness.
Although, CAAN had requested ICAO for an audit in all areas, accident and
incident investigation were not included due to the unsatisfactory progress
made by Nepal. Likewise, ICAO did not deem it necessary to do an audit in three
other areas-personnel licensing, navigation system and aerodromes-as Nepal has
performed well in them, CAAN said. CAAN decided to invite the audit mission
after getting the go-ahead from the Combined Action Team (CAT) of ICAO's Asia
and Pacific office in Bangkok which has helped it in its evaluation and
preparations. A six-member CAT mission provided assistance to CAAN from
November 22-25 last year.
International airlines and travellers hesitate to travel to a country whose air
safety has been questioned by ICAO.
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