KATHMANDU – Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sudan Kirati today claimed that Nepal would soon be removed from the security list of the European Union.
In today’s meeting of the International Relations and Tourism Committee (IRTC) of the House of Representatives, the minister expressed the hope that Nepal would be removed from the EU’s security list as the EU’s technical team conducted an audit of Nepal’s air security system.
“Nepali airlines will soon be removed from the EU security list. The EU team conducted the audit from September 11 to 15. The bill related to the division of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) has reached the Council of Ministers with the consent of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs,” he said. The EU technical team had conducted an ‘onside audit’, said the CAAN.
The European Commission under the EU has blacklisted Nepali airlines since 2013, showing serious aviation safety concerns. Nepali airlines were put in the Significant Security Concerns list of the International Civil Aviation Organisation before being removed in 2017. Minister Kirati expressed his hope that Nepal would be removed from the EU’s blacklist as it increased the aviation security rate lately.
Minister Kirati said the Nepal Airlines Corporation has been able to pay off the debt of Rs 4 billion since the national flag carrier has been earning profits lately. There are challenges as the NAC’s grounded Y-12 aircraft cannot be operated, there is also a problem in renting it out but parking fees and insurances should be paid, he said.
The IRTC president Raj Kishor Yadav stressed the need for the Committee to do the needful to improve the current weak situation of the NAC. He called for the Committee to form a subcommittee and do the appropriate work for the long-term interests of the NAC after identifying and resolving problems that weakened the NAC. The Committee should investigate and study the matter if need be, he said. The meeting discussed the bill made to amend the National Archives Preservation Act, 2046 BS.