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Civil Aviation Administration of China agrees to provide flight slots to NAC sans safety audit

KATHMANDU: Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has agreed to provide flight slots to Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) in Chinese airports without conducting NAC’s safety audit.
The CAAC agreed to provide privilege in safety audit to NAC to operate its flights in a meeting with Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN).
The meeting was held in the side-lines of the 56th DGCA Conference of Asia Pacific Region of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) organised from August 19 to 23 in Kathmandu. The CAAC has agreed to provide flight slots to NAC in Guangzhou International Airports of China from this October and in Beijing in near future.
Earlier, on submission of required documents by the national flag carrier to operate direct flights to Guangzhou, the CAAC had mentioned that they will need to conduct a safety audit before permitting NAC to operate flights in China. “We have directed NAC to start process as per the agreement with CAAC to operate its flights in China, Rajan Pokharel,” director general of the CAAN told journalists at a press conference organised in capital on Sunday.
Earlier, the CAAC had sent ‘check lists for the safety audit of NAC scheduling it for October this year. It would take at least 90 days to prepare the report of the safety audit. Another Nepali airlines, Himalayan Airlines, has already started charter flights to China after being successful in safety audit of CAAC.
Pokharel said that the CAAN had asked CAAC to provide flight slots to Nepali airlines referring to flight slots provided by Nepal to five Chinese airlines in a sole international airport of the country having a single runway.
He said that the side-line meeting of CAAN with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also remained fruitful in which CAAN briefed on the progress of Nepal in safety concerns of EU.
“We drew attention of EASA representatives that Nepal has already started the structural reforms of CAAN as per the concern of EU saying that banning Nepali airlines to operate in European sky on the basis of helicopters accident was not fair,” he said.
Pokharel said that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also agreed to provide Indian sky for the landing in Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA). For landing in GBIA which has almost reached in the final stage of construction, Nepal need to use Indian sky, he added.
Besides, the CAAN organised beneficial bilateral meeting with Myanmar to open Himalayan 2 Route, he said. Myanmar has convinced to open Himalayan 2 routes principally and a technical team of CAAN has been invited to Myanmar for the discussion in this regard, Pokharel said. The opening of Himalayan 2 Route will help managing traffic congestion in Nepali sky, he said.
Besides, CAAN has also made fruitful meeting with Korean and Japanese civil aviation authorities to facilitate the proposed direct flights of NAC there, he said. Pokharel said that the DGCA meeting had been successful to prove Nepali aviation sector safe and secure.
A total of 411 delegates from 36 states of Asia Pacific Region and 13 organisations have participated in the conference.

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