Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Nepal to Sign Deal with India for Periodic Airport Checks

Kathmandu: The Tourism Ministry has given the green signal to the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal to sign a long-term government-to-government deal with India for periodic airport surveillance and radar flight inspections to avoid being possibly forced into contracting unreliable companies amid the endless Covid-19 crisis.

Nepal had recently asked India for help to conduct a flight inspection of the newly installed navigation and communication infrastructure at Bhairahawa international airport as the original contractor has been staying away due to the virus outbreak.

Raj Kumar Chettri, spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, told the Post the authority had also asked the Airport Authority of India whether it could support Nepal in conducting surveillance of navigation and communication infrastructure of all airports, apart from the new airport in Bhairahawa.

"Based on the positive response from India, Nepal decided to engage the Airport Authority of India for at least five years," he said, adding that the Tourism Ministry had consented to the proposal of Nepal's civil aviation body.

The project has to be passed by the civil aviation board which the tourism minister chairs. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who also holds the tourism portfolio, is the chairman of the civil aviation body.

"We had an appointment with Prime Minister Deuba for a board meeting this week, but could not meet him due to his busy schedule. Another meeting has been planned," said Chettri. But the aviation authority is not sure of the date.

Airport surveillance and radar flight inspections have to be conducted every year, but Nepal has not been able to do it for the last two years due to Covid-19.

21/09/21 Kathmandu Post/Asia News Network/Aviation Pros

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