A five-day Aviation Safety Campaign Nepal 2014 kicked off in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
The workshop is being jointly organized by Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), World Food Program (WFP) and Airlines Operators Association of Nepal (AOAN).
Sushil Ghimire, secretary at the tourism ministry; Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, director general of CAAN; Rameshwar Thapa, president of AOAN; Marco Cavalcaute, representative of WFP Nepal; and Samir Sajet of Aviation Safety Unit of WFP jointly inaugurated the campaign.
Five different workshops would be organized under the campaign. Representatives of different airlines and officials of CAAN, among others, are participating in the workshops.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, director general of CAAN, said the campaign is a follow-up of a similar campaign organized last year. Referring to the ban on Nepali airlines from flying in European skies by the European Union, Suman said CAAN is in the most difficult situation in the history of Nepali aviation sector. “But we are not disjointed by the decision. We are trying our level best to improve our aviation safety standards and persuade the European Union to lift the ban,” he said. “ICAO has already approved our roadmap for enhancing aviation safety, now we are in the process of implementing it.” Suman also said airline companies were putting in place risk mitigation mechanism as required by the existing laws to bring down the number of air accidents.
Earlier in December last year, EU announced to ban all Nepal-based airlines from flying in the European Union skies. It also asked citizens of its member countries to avoid flying with Nepali carriers.
Similarly, Marco Cavelcaute, representative of WFP Nepal, said he was hopeful that the workshops being organized under the campaign would give valuable inputs to the government, aviation service regulator and airline companies for making Nepali sky safe.
Tourism secretary Sushil Ghimire said some concrete measures should be taken to reduce the number of air accidents. “I would like to assure you that the government would spare no effort to enhance aviation safety,” he said, adding that the government has formulated necessary laws to meet international aviation safety standards.”
Ghimire also said the government has hired foreign experts to help CAAN bring down the rate of non-compliance to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards below the global average of 39 percent.
Likewise, Rameshwar Thapa, president of AOAN, said latest aviation safety audit has showed Nepal’s position is improving. “But we still have lot more to do in making our sky safe,” he said, adding that they had to work hard to meet the global aviation safety standards.
Workshops on ‘State Safety Program’, ‘Threat and Error Management and Decision Making’, ‘Hazard Identification and Risk Management’, and ‘Runway Safety’ will be organized under the campaign. Captain Peter Budd of ICAO, Captain Peter N. Stein of Flight Safety Foundation, Sue Warner-Bean of University of South California and Ghadier Khattari of Royal Jordanian Airline are conducting the workshops.